We are finally here! After having both Conference Championships go to game seven for the first time since 1979.
The two teams we thought would have made it, did.
But they each had very different road to the finals.
This year will be the fourth straight year that we see the Golden State Warriors face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This has to be the most intriguing one of them all.
Yes out of all the other Finals matchups, this is one biggest one to watch.
It contains two of the most prominent free agents in the upcoming offseason, Warriors’ Kevin Durant, and Cavaliers’ LeBron James.
So you see how vital this Finals match up is for the NBA. We could see one or both of them not be with their current teams.
Each of them has their own legacy.
Durant joined forces with the Golden State Warriors after they blew a 3-1 series lead to LeBron and the Cavs. Warriors did win it the year prior.
Durant came to Golden State to win a title, and that he did as he led the Warriors to a 4-1 series win in the 2017 NBA Finals against LeBron’s Cavs.
Durant has continued where he left off as he and teammate, Steph Curry, lead the Warriors to the Playoffs.
Durant kept the Warriors in the race to the Finals while Curry was nursing an injury.
Curry returned for the second round of the playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans and showed no mercy.
In the West Conference Finals, Curry and Durant went head-to-head with Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul and James Harden.
The Warriors stole game one in Houston and then blew them out by 46 points in game three only to have to fight back and win games six and seven to make it back to the Finals.
Rockets jumped out to an early lead in the first half of each of those games until the Splash Brothers, Curry and Klay Thompson, decided to splash three-pointers all over the Rockets in the second half especially in the third quarter.
Warriors went from being down by double digits at the half to being up by double digits heading into the fourth.
Let’s not forget that the Warriors played most of the series without their sixth man, Andre Iguodala.
We expect to see Iguodala back for the NBA Finals, the question is when he’ll return.
Iguodala is one of the most significant pieces to the Warriors success, including an NBA Finals MVP in 2015.
Speaking of Iguodala and the Finals, he has been one of the key players to defend LeBron James.
They have both had their battles back and forth and will look to continue it this time around.
Remember the epic block that James had on Iguodala down the stretch of the game in game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals. If not, see it below!
James and Cavaliers gave it all they had to came back from the 3-1 series deficit, and they became the first team in NBA history to do so.
To see the final 3:39 of Game 7 including James block and his emotional postgame speech, watch the video below.
James’ finished the game with a triple-double, becoming the third player in NBA history to get a triple-double in a game 7 of an NBA Finals.
In the 2017 NBA Finals, James passed Magic for most triple-doubles in the Finals with nine (Magic had eight). He also averaged a triple-double in the Finals becoming the first player in NBA history to do so despite losing to Durant and the Warriors.
See what I’m trying to tell you is that James may be 3-8 in NBA Finals, but he is proving that he is genuinely the G.O.A.T.
This year was the biggest test for James and the Cavaliers because they weren’t the same team that went to the Finals a year ago. Yet, James lead them to their fourth straight finals (his 8th).
James and the Cavaliers went from trading Kyrie Irving for Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas while adding Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade to trading all of them away for George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
Yes, that’s what I said too. What are the Cavaliers thinking? But as the second half of the season went on, the Cavaliers landed the fourth seed in the playoffs and took on the young Indiana Pacers team who were led by Victor Oladipo and forced the Cavaliers to win in seven games.
It was then when you realize that the King is back and wasn’t playing any more games.
Okay, he was playing games, but he wasn’t letting Toronto sneak by him as the Cavaliers sweep the Raptors in four games.
This only set him up to face the Boston Celtics and former teammate Kyrie Irving. At least it would’ve been great to see that happen.
Unfortunately, Kyrie Irving and new teammate Gordon Hayward missed the entirety of the NBA playoffs, and yet, the Celtics managed to make it to a game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against the best player in the world.
Let’s just say that the Celtics players and head coach Brad Stevens deserve respect for the fight that they gave LeBron James. The Celtics went 10-0 at home in the playoffs until they lost to the Cavaliers in game seven.
But they will return, and they will be stronger than ever, until than James will continue to set playoff records.
The next record that LeBron should have his mind on is the most 40 + points in a single postseason. He is currently tied with Michael Jordan with seven and has at least four more games left to past Jerry West (8).
The interesting thing about it is the age at which Jordan and West did (each being 26) and James looking to do it at the age of 33.
Can we see LeBron James and his inexperienced Cavaliers beat the defending champions in a seven-game series? Will LeBron have to average 40+ points and get triple doubles every game to do so? How about playing him all 48 minutes again? Is that what it’s going to take James to win against the Golden State Warriors?
James won’t have Dwayne Wade or Kyrie Irving on his team this time but does Kevin Love and J.R. Smith have what it takes to give James a break? Will Hill and Clarkson actually be active point guards against Steph Curry? How about Klay? Who will be guarding Draymond?
Let’s face it, James and the Cavaliers are in the toughest situation when it comes to having a chance to win a title against the Warriors. Many people think it should be a clean sweep and the Cavaliers will be left with facing their future without LeBron.
But I want to know what you think?
Does LeBron have enough left in him to lead the Cavaliers against the Warriors again?
Or is Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green just a bit too much for one man to handle by himself?
Let us know here at Factfictfant what you think the results will be!
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Featured Image: Photo Courtesy of NBC Sports