Finals pick up where they left off with Cavs-Warriors III

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State Warriors Indian Express

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors both believe they have more to offer than in years past as they meet for the third consecutive year in the NBA Finals beginning Thursday night.

If there was ever a live 'dog, it's the 2017 Cavaliers.

Mike Brown expects to coach the Golden State Warriors as planned in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Police are investigating after someone spray painted a racial slur on the front gate of LeBron James' home in Los Angeles on the eve of the NBA Finals.

Plus, drumroll please, they have LeBron James.

He's been mentioned on a level with Michael Jordan - I've chimed in on that subject - and for the most part it's deserved. Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said.

So, naturally, I'm picking Cleveland to repeat as world champs. "So it doesn't matter". His presence also forced James to work on the defensive end, sapping some needed energy he needs on offense if Cleveland is going to keep up with Golden State.

Cleveland's comeback a year ago was keyed by James and Kyrie Irving and both were on point again - through three quarters James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists on his way to 28 for the game, and Irving had 22 of his 24 through 36 minutes as the Cavs waved the white flag early. Cleveland, undoubtedly the second-best team in the league, can't touch them. The Cavs are going to take this in 6 games.

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For one year, give or take a few weeks, the Warriors have stewed about how they let one get away. "Draymond Green is not the rim protector Bogut was". With all this said, James is still listed as the third favorite (+240) to win the finals MVP behind Durant (+200) and Stephen Curry (+210). "Just get focused on Game 2". They added a shooter.

The shooting was far from pretty, and Cleveland's defense was a step behind most of the night, unable to stop the star-studded roster of All-Stars and key role players on the other side. Not now. In transition, Golden State was devastating. He underwent a procedure to fix a spinal fluid leak on May 5 at Duke University but said he is still ailing and in debilitating pain. There have been 17 five-game series (24.4%), 25 six-gamers (35.7%) and 20 series that went to Game 7 (28.6%).

"He was able to get to the rim and score consistently, and the Cavaliers are going to be able to do that with LeBron".

Love was asked if the Cavs wanted the Warriors.

The 51-year-old Kerr had left open the possibility he might feel well enough to return to the bench by Thursday's opener against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. As an underdog after finally bringing a banner home to Cleveland, James is playing with house money. Simply put, Golden State has been straight dominant.

Warriors starting center Zaza Pachulia returned after missing the final two games at San Antonio with a bruised right heel and contributed eight points and six rebounds while plugging the paint. Fratto is playing the under, and so are we. The team as a whole was not sharp from the perimeter or the free-throw line (11-for-16), and to start the game, the Warriors were not even sharp at the rim - Golden State was 4 of 10 on shots at the rim in the first quarter, before recovering to go a flawless 10 of 10 the rest of the game. If they play like this three more times, the series is over.

At his annual state-of-the-league address at the Finals, Silver spoke on a number of topics before Game 1 - including what's perceived as a lack of parity. "It will be a real low-scoring first half".

"They've been battles, they've been wars", Barnes said.

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