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They’re Back! Cavaliers and Warriors Round 4

Posted on May 31, 2018 by Dean Hybl

2018-NBA-FinalsIt wasn’t easy or conventional, but the NBA Finals that most experts expected when the 2017-2018 NBA season started has finally come to fruition. Though after rough seven-game conference finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors look a bit more like fight survivors than great champions.

Proving that the NBA regular season is really little more than a long warm-up, neither the Cavaliers nor Warriors had the best record in their conference during the regular season. In fact, the Cavaliers had the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference.

However, this is the final that most fans wanted to see and has odds-makers excited. You can check out the latest odds on this site.

While neither team may be quite as great as they have been in previous years, they still have enough fire-power to make for a great series.

LeBron James and Steph Curry are meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.

LeBron James and Steph Curry are meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.

On paper, the Warriors are prohibitive favorites. They won 58 games during the regular season and have four All-Star players along with a deep roster of players with championship experience.

The key for Golden State this season has been staying healthy. Of their “big four”, Klay Thompson played in the most games (73) while point guard Steph Curry played in only 51 and missed the first round of the playoffs before returning to the lineup. In addition, veteran backup Andre Iguodala missed most of the Western Conference Finals and while he scores only six points a game, his defense and overall energy was definitely missed.

If the Warriors are able to make it through the NBA Finals with their key players all on the court for the entire series, then they will be hard to beat.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, it starts and ends with one player: LeBron James. Though James is nearly four years older than any of the Warriors “Big Four”, James was much more durable in 2017-2018. He played in all 82 games for the first time in his career and had his highest scoring average (27.5 ppg) since the 2009-2010 season.

Ironically, that was the last year of his first run with the Cavaliers and much like with that team, the 2017-2018 Cavaliers are a collection of second-level players that are pushed to greatness by the best player in the NBA.

If the Cavaliers want to win their second title in three years, the only other “A List” player on the team, Kevin Love, must be healthy. Love missed game seven of the Eastern Conference finals with a concussion and his status for the finals will likely be determined right before the start of the series.

It seems unlikely that Love will miss the entire series, but if he is not available for game one, it will put even more pressure on James. Of the other Cavaliers, one player who could help push the Cavaliers is seventh year center Tristan Thompson. After having the worst statistical season of his career, Thompson had a solid series against the Celtics and is averaging 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in the playoffs.

Overall, it seems unlikely that the Cavaliers can match the Warriors over a seven game series, but if there is one thing you cannot do in the NBA, it is count our LeBron James. The series promises to be exciting and will either solidify the Warriors as the team of the decade or add to the legacy of LeBron James.

 

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