Why a 'boring' Cavs-Warriors rematch isn't a disaster for the National Basketball Association

30 May, 2018, 11:41 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • LeBron James and Dan Gilbert

If you did, you were wrong-again.

The Warriors are scheduled to host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Thursday, the fourth straight Finals matchup between the two teams.

The Boston Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over the Cavs this year.

No. 23 did his thing, but it was a team effort, at least defensively, that allowed the wine and gold to take Game 7 in a hostile environment.

Houston built a lead in both games, but the loaded Warriors stormed back in each second half. You could also compare this series to the amusement park.

According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni says the series goes a bit differently if Paul is available for one last game, but at the same time, Warriors coach Steve Kerr says with Iguodala on the court, the Paul injury would have never come into play. He didn't really catch on to that one until last summer when he joined his old coach, Tyronn Lue, who was an assistant on the Celtics when Green played there. Well, it did, further cementing James' greatness. "To me, Houston wasn't just one half away from advancing to the Finals. Just like I'll probably bring the best out of him, and we'll see what happens".

The odds are longer than a Stephen Curry 3-pointer, Kevin Durant's wingspan or Draymond Green's catalog of technical fouls. He finished with 27 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and four steals while going 7-of-15 from deep. In the early numbers that's up 7% over last year's Game 1 between the winning Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators.

42 - JR Smith notched 42 minutes, the third Cavalier that played 42-plus minutes Sunday night.

Golden State won two of the three finals meetings and is heavily favored to take this one.

Again, this is not the way the public relations people would have drawn up the game plan for a promotional call, but Van Gundy and his colleagues would love it if he were underestimating the Cavs and they made a series of it. "It just wasn't enough offense".

So maybe the Cavs can have a good defense when it actually matters? So don't count them out until the final buzzer sounds.

Cleveland finished in fourth place in the East during a tumultuous season of roster upheaval, and was 29th all year on defense.

Of the ten most-watched National Basketball Association games since 2002, James has played in eight of them, and 14 of the top 19, according to Sports Media Watch. His plus-14 was tied for the second-best on the team. The Rockets were getting open shots in Game 7 even without Paul - they just weren't hitting them.



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