The Finals, finally, begin tonight.
The negative narrative will always be Kevin Durant came to Golden State to join a slew of all-stars to help pave the way to his first National Basketball Association title. The Cavaliers, however, are putting up over 120 points per 100 possessions per game, which is better still.
So goes the argument heard throughout the 2017 playoffs.
So here they are.
The 28-year-old, who averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season, spent his first nine years of his National Basketball Association career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cleveland committed 12 of its 20 turnovers in the first half - "20 in the Finals is not going to get it done", Irving said. The result was a reminder of the frustrating squad often seen during the regular season, not the one that spoke with supreme confidence heading into the Finals.
There are many storylines surrounding this year's Finals.
There is no player right now as efficient offensively as James. Making matters worse was a lack of scoring help from any of their role players. There's a reason it seemed the Warriors ran more basic pick-and-roll in Game 1 than they had throughout the first 12 games of the playoffs.
That comment sent the "ooooo-meter" into the red. Which team is closer to being two-time defending champs?
Golden State finally warmed up after nine days off, while the Cavs had a six-day break since beating Boston in the Eastern Conference finals.
Green took a one-game suspension in last year's NBA Finals after punching James in the groin when the Cleveland star stepped over him. His suspension in Game 5 provided an opening for Cleveland which the Cavs gladly went through and kept on going. They're just too good, and Golden State is too uniquely equipped to handle James' blend of speed, strength and playmaking prowess.
And everything to do with Cleveland. Now, he's in a weird situation where he's kind of a reserve head coach.More news: G7 divided on climate change as Trump isolated by own stand
Kerr has not been on the bench with the team since its second game of the playoffs, in the first round against the Blazers. More on that coming up.
Brown addressed the media pregame and said he hadn't spoken yet to Kerr. "That led to us not being able to set our defense and get out and play in transition, play fast like we wanted to. I just tried to stay locked in and at the same time have some fun with it". I don't care who you are. "But the ball is the number one thing".
"I just try to use my speed to my advantage, take him out of spots where he's comfortable, make him do some things maybe he don't want to do", Green said. Whatever he decides, the consensus from both teams is that either way the Warriors will be ok.
While there was only a gentle drama leading up to this matchup, there should be a lot of action in this series.
"KD", James said when asked what stood out about the Warriors' romp".
But his work negating Thompson's impact was the most important task he accomplished. And against a very good Cleveland team. [Kerr] gets to his point.
"It's definitely special to be a part of, but I think when you're on the battlefield you don't really have time to just sit back and really think about how big it actually is", Thompson said. He always has been.
MIKE BROWN: Hey, at the end of the day, this is his team. I mean, you take one of the best teams that we had ever assembled previous year, that we saw in the regular season and in the postseason and then in the offseason you add a high-powered offensive talent like that and a great basketball IQ like that, that's what stands out. "It's been working up to this point, so I can't change what I'm doing".
And so it will be for everyone involved in this hardcourt drama.
California has a fairly severe punishment for vandalism if it reaches a certain amount of damage, Sports Illustrated law expert Michael McCann reports: "If suspects who vandalized LeBron's home are caught & damage is at least $400, they can be prosecuted for felonies (up to 3 yrs in prison)", he tweeted.