When game one of the NBA Finals tips off Thursday night on ABC, it will mark the third straight year that the league's playoffs have ended with the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Golden State Warriors.
In the real world, the Cavs completed an epic comeback past year to stun the Warriors and claim the NBA Finals title. With a chance to take a 2-0 series lead, the Cavs blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 2. Although many have been saying that the National Basketball Association needs different teams in the finals, we all deep down want to see a rematch, especially the addition of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. On top of his versatility and defence that is so important to Golden State, he's shooting 47 per cent from 3-point range in the postseason, tops on a team that has some of the best perimeter shooters in the world. Although neither player is in the running for NBA MVP, they both have led their teams on impressive runs during the postseason.
LeBron James (5,995 PTS) is five points away from becoming the first player in National Basketball Association postseason history to reach 6,000 career playoff points. And then he'll address the team at halftime, even at the end of games.
Let's rewind one year when Golden State was up 3 games to 1 over the Cavs. Golden State have won 11 of those 19 games, outscoring Cleveland 103.6-97.3 in those matches. In fact, while LeBron was going through his odd mood in Cleveland against the Celtics, the guy who finished off Boston was Kyrie Irving. "It's been working up to this point, so I can't change what I'm doing".
Curry averaged 22.6 points in last year's Finals and was held below 20 points in four of the seven games.More news: LeBron undaunted by challenge of facing Warriors in Finals
James had won two titles as part of another "super team" in Miami but last year's crown meant even more to his legacy. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have the lateral quickness of guards which will make it hard to blow past them. "Obviously when you play against somebody and it's the third time in a row and split the seasons and championships, they don't like each other".
"I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason", James said. He returns this year more closely resembling the stat-stuffing machine he was in Minnesota than at any other time since he was traded following James' decision to come back to Cleveland. Thompson says he isn't anxious.
"I'm true to the game, and I know what I bring to the table", James said. Regardless, it's going to be a fun series to watch, to say the least. To be sure, this will be a back and forth series, but the Warriors have all the weapons to take home the 2017 title with the depth of their bench, their consistency of play, and their cohesion as a team.