At the top of the month, the most historic NBA finals game began. The Golden State Warriors swept their competitors in the Western Conference to match up the expected Eastern Conference finalists, the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the first time ever that the same two teams has returned to the NBA finals three years consecutively. Even better, the first ever rubber match of any North American professional team sport!
In 2015, the Splash brothers and Warriors effortlessly earned the title, putting LeBron under a lot of slack. A year later, the King and the Cavs fought hard and redeemed themselves, making history in Cleveland by finally winning after falling short of a championship for nearly 50 years.
So here these two teams are, tied and going back into the finals this year. Shortly after the acceptance speech, bottle popping and parade of celebrations in 2016 in Cleveland, the arguments began of who would take the title if each team surpassed their conference to make it back to the finals. There was no clear idea of who could win, but then there was a monkey wrench thrown into each conversation. And that monkey wrench was a free agent from OKC, who the world would never forget when he told his mother “You the real MVP.” When Kevin Durant decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors, the world erupted just as it did when LeBron announced he wanted to take his talents to South Beach.
Now let’s take a look at our updated rosters. The Golden State Warriors have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Matt Barnes and more. On the Cleveland Cavaliers there’s LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R., Thompson, Shumpert and Kyle Korver. We have two superstar, Hall of Fame-potential led teams. The only (and biggest) difference is Kevin Durant. A player of his caliber thrown into the mix with the already dominant Golden State gives a harder match to the Cavs, who have to truly rely on their big three when their supporting cast is inconsistent.
As of right now, it’s not looking too good for the best player in the world and his team. The Golden State Warriors, informally dubbed “the villains of the NBA,” crushed the Cavaliers twice in the series already by a score of 113-91 in the first game and 132-113 in the second. Will the Warriors preserve their historic playoff record with a clean sweep all the way through? Or will this be a repeat of last year, when the Cavs made history by winning the championship after a 3-0 deficit?
Some claimed the final last year was rigged, and others argued that is why LeBron James is the King. Some say Golden State needs Kevin Durant for the win and others say if LeBron really is the best player in the world, he can win again.
The series continues in Cleveland for its 3rd and 4th games, then will return back to Oracle Arena for the 5th game if necessary. Will the King conquer once again, or will Golden State knock him off his throne with revenge?