Surviving Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors Finals Part IV
If you went out on a lim and predicted that the Cleveland Cavaliers would meet the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals, you were remarkably accurate in your assumptions.
This year will make the fourth straight year in which the two teams will wage battle in the final round of the League playoffs. The Warriors have won two of the last three matchups, coming out victorious in the latest affair, while the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled out the second encounter against the then 73-9 Warriors of 2015-16. With the Warriors opening up the series as massive odds-on favourites, we decided to take a different look at this Finals matchup.
The main storylines will ultimately remain the same: LeBron James versus the Warriors. Can The King overcome such a mighty opposition?
Probably not, but this is why we play after all.
So here is what we decided to do – for the sake of surviving yet another Warriors-Cavaliers matchup, we opted to look at some of the more under-the-radar storylines that quite possibly no one will even talk about over the next two weeks. That being said, here goes nothing!
This really has nothing to do with the NBA Finals at all other than that Tristan Thompson is 27-years of age and will be playing in yet another Championship clinching series. Hopefully the Kardashian curse won’t follow him into the match-up.
But to get back on track, the number 27 is simply the new NBA record for consecutive three-point shots missed in a playoff game – a record the Houston Rockets so graciously set while choking away their double-digit first half lead against the defending champs. Talk about living by the three and dying by the three.
Well played Rockets, well played!
4. Kevon Looney Becoming a Max-Player
Everyone knows that Kevin Durant and LeBron James are slated to enter the NBA offseason as highly coveted free agents. What most people don’t know is that Warriors starting center Kevon Looney will be joining the esteemed 2018 summer free agent class as well.
The young big man out of UCLA is finally healthy and is somewhat of a regular in the Warriors lineup, at least while Andre Iguodala sits out. Starting each of the last four Conference Finals games, Looney is a combined +3 (+18 for the series). He has held his own on the defensive end, especially on switches, staying at bay on shooters of the calibre of MVP favourite James Harden.
Whether he will become a max-player or not following this summer, Looney will be tasked with outmuscling Tristan Thompson in the NBA Finals, and you know what? We believe in Kevon Looney!
3. The Luck of the Roll Tide
Yes, Alabama football coach Nick Saban is most definitely one of the most crucial X-Factors going into the series.
Why you might ask?
Over the past eight years, Saban has led the Crimson Tide to four NCAA D1 football champions. The interesting thing to note here is that in each of the first three victories, LeBron James went on to capture an NBA championship in the same year. Whenever Alabama failed to win college football’s grandest prize, James too would stumble on the NBA Finals stage. This past year, Alabama secured its fourth championship in eight seasons.
For King James, it is all written in the stars!
2. Life Before LeBron Was in the Finals
Believe it or not, the world was a completely different place before LeBron’s consecutive Finals streak began.
For one thing, Chris Paul was still with the New Orleans Hornets, yes Hornets, and James’ first round opponent Stephen Curry was only a young and lanky rookie out of Davidson. Derrick Rose still had knees and Vince Carter was still getting heavily booed by Toronto Raptors faithful.
To venture outside of the sport of basketball, Shia LaBeouf was still normal. People still used Facebook and had silly wall-to-wall conversations for everyone to see. Angry Birds was the only game worth downloading and the first ever Apple iPad was just released – the one without the camera option.
I also still thought that I could become a professional basketball player and since then have come to realize that I have little to no athletic and physical gifts.
1. Anything Is Possible
Yeah sure, the Warriors dynasty talk will get a lot of hype, but who would’ve thought that this dude would ever be on this stage of basketball.
Yup, Swaggy P is four games away from being an NBA champion.