No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals yet again

Ross Houston
May 28, 2017

The Cavaliers will have to keep the Warriors in the halfcourt as much as possible.

The Warriors were back in the NBA Finals, and they had a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers, the same team they defeated for the championship the previous year.

"I've been very blessed the last few years to be a part of this league and play on the big stage", said Cleveland star LeBron James, who has now reached the Finals for the eighth time - including each of the last seven years. "Now we can start focusing on Golden State to get ready".

The Warriors' regular season was more understated than many expected, but it was nonetheless dominant.

For the third straight year they'll face the Golden State Warriors in the championship series.

"I wish could say he was, and I'm sure he wishes he could, as well, but that's where we are right now".

"Playing in this league, you can't take anything for granted", Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. "I think maybe people just fail to realize that you just have two great teams and don't appreciate that". Those looking for the Finals hats worn by the players last night should note there is a limit to four per person.

Already, the back-and-forth is underway.

The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing...

He has been around the team and spoken to the side during some key play-off games but otherwise former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has coached the Warriors and they don't appear to have missed a beat.

Cleveland's 75 first half points were the most in an National Basketball Association playoff game half since 2003 and gave them an 18-point cushion. Game 1 is set for May 29 in Pittsburgh. But there's also a clear respect level between the clubs as well. This has brought up discussions of competitive balance - we have seen the same Finals three years in a row, and we will nearly certainly head into next season expecting a fourth.

On July 4, with a 351-word post on The Players' Tribune, Durant announced he was joining the Warriors. So it makes it even more hard.

"Now, we're going to try to win it". James scored 15 and Irving 13 in the quarter, with James hitting three bombs in the final 2:41. Their teams met in the finals three times during the 1980s.

Durant's only other time in the Finals was 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in a series that made James a champion for the first time. Not only would James add a fourth title to his name, but 10, 20, 30 years down the line, we could look back at his battles against these stacked Warriors teams as the signature moments of his career.

Still, James has had a number of outstanding playoff performances during his games in Boston.

They'll collide again, starting next week.

So much of the talk will centre around the battle of the superstars, with shooting sensation Steph Curry leading the Warriors and LeBron James fronting the Cavaliers, although Kevin Durant (Warriors) and Irving could prove just as decisive this series.

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