By Aaron Torres
Two years ago the Cleveland Cavaliers featuring LeBron James played the newly seasoned juggernaut Golden State Warriors featuring Stephen Curry in an NBA finals series that would two years later bring debatably the most epic, most anticipated NBA Finals series in NBA history. In 2015, the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers to win the NBA title for the first time since 1975. A year later, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers put on a show, coming back from down 3-1 to get their revenge on the record setting, 73-9, Golden State Warriors. Now in 2017 for the third consecutive year, the Warriors and Cavs have decided to grace us with the trilogy.
Kyrie vs Steph, LeBron James vs Kevin Durant, Kevin Love vs Draymond Green.
Who ya got?
How we got here...
The Dubs absolutely tore through the so called testy Western Conference. Bringing out the brooms and handing out participation trophies to everyone in their path. Granted they were a tad bit lucky with injuries on every team they faced, did we really think they would lose anyways? The Warriors swept the Trail Blazers despite the scary backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum and later swept the Gordon Hayward led Utah Jazz and then cake walked into the Western Conference Finals to play the mighty tested San Antonio Spurs who suffered a huge blow when Kawhi Leonard twisted his already hurt ankle on a controversial run in with Zaza Pachulia in the 3rd quarter while up 20 plus points and went to the locker room with a limp and that was the last we saw of Kawhi for the series. That led to the Spurs blowing a 25 point lead in Game 1 and after that the Warriors never really looked back and steamrolled the Spurs to a 4-0 sweep to head back to the NBA Finals with an astonishing 12-0 unbeaten record throughout the playoffs. What's even crazier? The Warriors posted a single-digit margin of victory just two times, once in Round 1 the Trail Blazers only lost by six points after holding the lead for 3 quarters thanks to McCollum and Lillard’s 30 point performances. The second was the 25 point blown lead from the Spurs in Game 1. Utah was no contest for the Warriors as the dropped every game by double digits.
Over in the East, the Cavs were in some questionably close contest with the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Although they went on to sweep the Pacers they only won the four games by 16 points and Indiana was a C.J Miles shot at the buzzer away from stealing Game 1 in Cleveland. The Toronto Raptors, who had a lot of people wanting to watch this matchup because of some acquisitions they had made, including Serge Ibaka, were really no hard task for the loaded Cavaliers roster as they went on to sweep the Kyle Lowry-less Raptors as well, making them 8-0 after the first two round because well, why not? As the Eastern Conference Final rolled around the fans of the NBA were hopeful for a great series between the Celtics and Cavs but just didn't get that at all. Although the Celtics had no star point guard Isaiah Thomas after game 2 due to injury, did they really even have him in Games 1 and 2 in Boston? The Cavs absolutely annihilated the Celtics in both games and although the Celtics did pull one out in Game 3, the Cavs and King James unsurprisingly bounced back in Games 4 and 5 to close out the series in Boston and officially booked a trip to Oakland as they are headed back to the NBA Finals.
With the acquisition of Kevin Durant to join long side Steph Curry the Warriors look very deadly. But the Cavaliers have something that the Warriors don't, LeBron James. This match-up is one that should just have every basketball fan drooling. LeBron, Kyrie, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R Smith against Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Zaza Pachulia. This is a clash of the titans and the time has finally arrived. Throw all the numbers out the door, it's time to ball.
The Golden State shooting backcourt of Steph, Klay, and Kevin Durant who can also do just about everything is gonna prove to be too much for an at times very suspect Cleveland defense who tends to give up a lot of open looks. This is the wrong team to give open looks too and they're going to make Cleveland pay. LeBron will be LeBron but the acquisition of Kevin Durant with post presence like Draymond Green and 7 footer JaVale McGee, who has been playing extremely well will force LeBron to take outside shots. Kyrie will be Kyrie in some moments but Steph Curry will put on an absolute show as he is entering this Finals on fire and is 100% with more than a weeks rest.
Golden State in 5
Finals MVP: Wardell Stephen Curry