Finals pick up where they left off with Cavs-Warriors III

Posted June 02, 2017

The sports desk chimes in.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State hasn't lived down the memory of blowing a 3-1 lead in last season's finals, the turning point being a one-game suspension handed to Green after a flagrant foul for kicking James in the groin during Game 4. There was Golden State winning its first title since 1975 when the Warriors bested a short-handed Cavaliers squad missing Irving and Kevin Love on Cleveland's home court in 2015.

The Warriors were in no position in 2009 to sign a free agent like Kevin Durant, whose decision last summer to team up with the team that beat him in the Western Conference finals a year ago has given the blue on Golden State's uniforms a villainous hue in the eyes of many outside the Bay Area.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James in a December 2016 game. The better Green's "D", the harder it'll be for James on the other end to harass Durant. It seems like everyone will be disappointed and the National Basketball Association season is a letdown if it doesn't go to seven games.

Jack Fitzpatrick: Coming off a historic 3-1 collapse, the Warriors needed to get bigger in the offseason in order to matchup with the size and strength of Cleveland. Hopefully there will be no injuries or amusing business and we can just have the two best teams in the National Basketball Association go at each other to see who is the best. Their size will cause mismatches all over the place and send the heavily favored Warriors home disappointed for a second straight season. It's shaping up as the greatest challenge of James' career. Unfortunately, the ad did not help as Golden State blew the infamous 3-1 lead over Cleveland.

One of the few things that hasn't gone right for Golden State this postseason has been Klay Thompson's shooting.

In the seven-game classic, Irving averaged 27.1 points per - with he and LeBron becoming the first duo since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West in 1963 to average at least 27.0 ppg in the Finals, punctuating that point in Game 5, when he and James notched 41 points apiece in a do-or-die contest in Oakland.

"It's definitely unique", Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said. A video game simulation has them going the distance.

Stosur says players could boycott Margaret Court Arena
There have been suggestions that some players may even refuse to play in the stadium at the 2018 Australian Open if the Court name is not removed.

The 2016 series was a ideal storm of ratings-driving storylines - Golden State's run at a Finals repeat after breaking the National Basketball Association record for regular-season wins; Cavaliers star LeBron James' effort to deliver on his promise to bring a long-anticipated pro-sports championship to Cleveland; and the Cavaliers' comeback after falling behind 3 games to 1 to Golden State. Well, the Warriors added the second best player in the league in Durant in the off-season, and enter these Finals 12-0 with yet another chance at making history. Durant was the same way during some of his playoff match ups with his former Oklahoma City Thunder. As for his scoring, he's at 32.5 points per game in the playoffs this season.

Love was especially good in the Eastern Conference finals against the? "They have been the best team in the league the last three years and they have added an incredible player in Kevin Durant". "I think when you're the prohibitive favorite against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, that means you're a heck of a team, and they sure are". Golden State Warriors' Zaza Pachulia shoots during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.

How rare is it for the same two teams to meet three years in a row with a championship on the line? I genuinely liked the Warriors and their players.

Seven All-Stars will line the floor when the 2017 Finals tip off on Thursday night, but in any series, both team's benches will play a pivotal role in who takes home the hardware. No points in the final 16 minutes was shocking, and another slow first half in Game 4 (before he exploded to finish with 34 points on 55.6 percent shooting) wasn't great either.

Another factor is the play of Steph Curry.

Stephen Curry is back to his MVP form from previous year and Klay Thompson, while not as accurate with his three-point shooting, continues to offer solid two-way play. But, if he can find a way to drag his Cavaliers to a Game 7, they will have a chance and a good chance at that.

The four-time All-Star averaged 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds against the team that ended his postseason and kept him from facing the Warriors in the 2015 Finals. Kevin Love posted 15 points and a playoff-career high 21 boards, but shot 4-of-13.