After coasting through most of the playoffs while the Warriors steamrolled to a 12-0 record mostly without his contributions, Iguodala now becomes much more vital against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. (Maybe a healthy San Antonio team could have pushed the Warriors, we didn't get to find out.) Golden State has four of the top 15-20 players in the National Basketball Association, and that makes them a juggernaut - again, regardless of the work put in.
James went into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals needing 28 points to surpass Jordan's record of 5,987 postseason points.
It marks the first time in National Basketball Association history in which the same two teams will play in three consecutive championships.
It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win.
As for James, this will be his eighth Finals as Eastern Conference champion dating to 2007. I wanted to be Mike, so for my name to come up in any discussion with Michael Jordan is a wow factor.
Thursday night was a special one for LeBron James. Game 1 is set for May 29 in Pittsburgh.
Brown and LeBron made the Finals together in 2007 and remained a duo until James left Cleveland for the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010.
Despite having said all of that, I think that Stephen Curry has more to lose in this series.More news: Lue: Cavs' Irving feeling 'good' after Game 4 ankle injury
Heading into Thursday's championship series opener, the favorite is 17-9 ATS in Game 1 since 1991 (65 percent) - including red-hot runs of 14-4 ATS since 1999 (78 percent) and 11-1 ATS since 2005 (92 percent). Cleveland, during the regular season scored 110.3 points per game, and allowed 107.2 per game. He drilled three contested 3-pointers.
James reached the scoring mark in his 212th game while Jordan set the score in 179 games.
-Cleveland improved to 12-1 in this year's playoffs. The Warriors have the No. 1 defensive efficiency at 99.1 points allowed per 100 possessions; the Cavs are No. 3 at 104.6. Kevin Durant can score from anywhere, over anyone. According to NBA.com, Golden State's 16.8 net rating is the highest among the 16 playoff teams.
"Want the Warriors? Like Bron said in his postgame presser, they've been right at the top, best team in the league for three years straight now".
The NBA limits salaries for individual players, meaning an already-stacked Warriors team could only offer as much money for Kevin Durant as any other team that doesn't have a shot at winning a title. But, overall, the better team here is the Golden State Warriors. When you are making a bet on this series, look at the Golden State Warriors.
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