With all the talk about burner accounts, it’s easy to forget that when most people think of the NBA, they think of the action on the court. After two Conference Finals series that both went to a Game 7 (the first such occurrence since 1979), we are left with a matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers for the fourth straight season. It’s the first time across the major four American professional sports that the same two teams have met in a championship game/series four years in a row. Game 1 of this 4th (and final?) meeting tips off tonight at 9:00pm EST.
As you may recall, Golden State came away victorious in both 2015 and 2017, with the Cavaliers breaking Cleveland’s 52-year title drought in 2016 by coming back from a 3-1 deficit. This time around, everyone appears to expect an easy Golden State victory, with most pundits saying the series will go 5 games purely because they can’t bring themselves to say LeBron James will be swept.
Certainly, it’s hard to bet against LeBron, as 8 straight NBA Finals appearances in the modern era is a truly remarkable achievement. Even at 33 years of age, this postseason has featured some of LeBron’s best work. James is averaging 34.0 points on 54.2% shooting, 9.2 rebounds, and 8.8 assists during the playoffs, and played the full 48 minutes in Cleveland’s Game 7 victory over Boston. That type of production sure would look great in a Sixers uniform next season.
And yet, ever since the Warriors acquired Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016, Golden State victory has taken on an air of inevitability. Having all four of Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green is simply an embarrassment of riches. Last postseason, Steve Kerr’s club went 16-1, with the lone loss coming in Cleveland during Game 4 of the Finals (supporting the notion for Warriors in 5 this year). In the Durant era, Golden State is also 16-1 at home in the postseason, only falling at Oracle in Game 4 to the Rockets last series. Notably, the Warriors have home court advantage in this series.
What do you think? Will Golden State easily hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy yet again, or will LeBron add another remarkable chapter to his legacy? Discuss and follow along to the Game 1 action in the comments below.