After an underwhelming month of blowouts and sweeps in the opening rounds of the playoffs we have finally reached the highly expected NBA Finals that seemed destined from the start of the season, Golden State vs. Cleveland. For the first time in NBA history, teams will sqaure off in the Finals for a third consecutive year in a best of seven rubber match.
Since Kevin Durant joined forces with Steph Curry and the reigning runners up of last years final, this season´s objective has been title or bust. The Warriors rolled through the Western Conference barely breaking a sweat, sweeping Portland, Utah, and a hampered San Antonio team without Tony Parker or Kawahi Leonard. Their closest contest was in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals which was decided by 2 points. Points have always been the calling card for Golden State, scoring more than 100 points in each of their record setting 12 consecutive playoff wins. The two previous times a team trotted through the playoffs undefeated, the Lakers of 1989 and 2001 (11 wins), both teams lost Game 1 of the Finals. The Western Confernce champs will be looking to avoid a sluggish start and keep hold of home court advantage.
The Cavs have barely broken stride this postseason sweeping the Pacers and the Raptors in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and knocking out the Celtics in 5. Like the Warriors, the Cavs have not scored under 100 points this postseason, which could explain the record-high over/under for a Game 1 in the Finals. We may be in the midst of witnessing one of the greatest individual playoff performances of all time courtesy of Lebron James. James looks to be an unstoppable force, joined with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love the Cavs will be a tough tough train to derail. Clevelands big three are averaging a combined 74 points a game but will match up against one of the leagues best defenses in Golden State.
This series maybe a rare case where each of the two finalists come into Game 1 too well rested. The Warriors last game was May 23rd and won´t hit the hardwood again until the 2nd of June, while the Cavs took care of buisness in the East on the 25th. The Warriors have won both Game 1´s in the Finals against the Cavs and I expect much of the same in the series opener. Game 2 will be the key, if the Warriors fend of the Cavs in both home games I think they learn from their mistakes last year and protect an early series lead. The games will be tight, I doubt we will see the blowouts we have become acustomed to this playoffs. Warriors in 6.