Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Warriors favored over LeBron and Cavaliers in the Finals

Isaac Mcdaniel | 29 May, 2017, 12:12

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are set to do battle in the Finals for a third consecutive season.

At the 2:40 mark of the third quarter, James knocked down a three-pointer and passed Michael Jordan to become the leader for most postseason points with 5,995.

Both teams dominated throughout the playoffs - the Warriors making history by going an unprecedented 12-0 through three rounds in the Western Conference with the Cavs losing just a single game to the Celtics.

"I fell in love with the game because of Mike", James said, per Rachel Nichols of ESPN. Had the game not gotten out of hand in the first half, James might have played the fourth quarter and recorded his 18th playoff triple-double, which would be second all-time to Magic Johnson.

"But people may want to be careful, because I think right now you're witnessing greatness". I gave you the advantage of Cleveland versus Golden State - they defend Golden State better - but in the big picture, you add KD defending the rim in the middle of that thing. But the Christmas Day meeting in Cleveland, a 109-108 victory won on Irving's fadeaway with 3.4 seconds left, proved to be a James-Durant showdown. With eight NBA Finals appearances under his belt, he is ready to face a team he's called "a beast". There was too much jubilation and joy in the Cavs' locker room to wade into that territory.

After getting eliminated, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens now looks ahead to the National Basketball Association draft and said, "It's pretty cool to think that in three weeks you've got the No. 1 pick in the draft". When the two teams meet in the latest entry of their unique rivalry, it'll be the rubber match.

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For the record, James feels quite confident about evening his career Finals record to 4-4 with a win over Golden State. This is a high-powered team and I've played against some other (stiff competition).

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They got together again for one day after the 2012 Olympics, although some considered the pairing odd because James and the Miami Heat defeated Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder for the National Basketball Association championship before the two won gold for Team USA in London. The most glaring difference in this year's go around, though, is the Warriors' addition of Kevin Durant.

On the brink of becoming the first player since the early 1960s to play in seven straight Finals, James finds himself in a similar - and somewhat surprising - situation.

"It's a little different, definitely".

"I'm just proud of the work we've put in from the beginning of the season", Durant said following the sweep of the Spurs. "I didn't go bald like Mike but I'm getting there".

This is the same King James who hopped off the team plane, decked out in a Kermit hat and "Ultimate Warrior" shirt while cuffing the Larry O'Brien trophy when the Cavs arrived back in Northeast Ohio after winning the title on the Warriors' floor past year.

Four-time MVP James, 32, has never had a problem mentoring younger players like Durant, 28, no matter what happens during the postseason. So it makes it even more hard. They're going to challenge our ballclub.

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