Capsule preview of the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup

Cheryl Sanders
May 31, 2017

As the main attraction for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James is constantly in the spotlight.

The Warriors are stomach-churning scary.

Meanwhile, the average "get-in" price for the NBA Finals hosted in Cleveland hasn't changed much over the past three years: It's up slightly to $344 this year, compared to $339 in 2016 and $327 in 2015. After all, he has slayed behemoths before.

Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, who are part of the ABC/ESPN broadcast team for the Finals that start on June 1, say twice reigning league MVP Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are so good that the Warriors will not unravel even if other players have an off night. "I mean, it's up there".

Both teams are better than they were a year ago, but one thing remains the same: few outside of northeast OH are giving the Cavaliers much chance of winning. So, it's going to be very challenging. We match up well with them.

"This is a high-powered team". He evolved into what it took for this team to win.

"I'd like to see the ball go in the basket", he said.

The Warriors have emerged as heavy -240 chalk on the NBA series prices in their third straight NBA Finals clash with Cleveland, and will be hungry for revenge after blowing a 3-1 series lead in last year's finals and eventually falling to the Cavaliers in seven games.

There will be no love lost between these teams, especially after Green, whose Game Five suspension in the 2016 Finals was considered by many to be the turning point, said last November he wanted to "destroy" and "annihilate" the Cavs in a championship rematch.

This time around, however, Durant will have the luxury of playing next to a two-time MVP in Curry, defensive player of the year candidate Draymond Green and Thompson, perhaps the second best shooter in the league.

Brown is set to go up against LeBron James and a Cleveland team he coached in two separate stints.

Most fans would have to agree with Vegas on this one, what with the Dubs having added superstar Kevin Durant in the offseason-not to mention their flawless 12-0 run through their first three playoff series. There's no way Durant will get held to those sort of numbers.

"The biggest thing for me", James said after the Boston series about breaking the playoff scoring record, "is that I did it just being me". So, it's the right thing to do. "So it makes it even more unsafe when you equip that talent, that skill with those guys".

What Lue and his staff ultimately come up with to defend the Warriors may ultimately decide who wins the title this year.

Kevin Durant is the closest thing LeBron James has to a contemporary in the National Basketball Association today.

James isn't anxious about point spreads or any odds. It wouldn't have mattered if I shot lights-out if we didn't finish the job off. He is also averaging career playoff highs in shooting percentage (.566) and 3-point shooting (.421) while grabbing 8.0 rebounds and dishing out 7.0 assists.

Maybe James has nothing to fear. But I spent some time walking around in the woods this weekend, and as the smell of damp soil filled my head, I couldn't help but start to feel more optimistic.

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