The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are on a collision course as the Cavaliers advanced to the 2017 NBA Finals after defeating the Boston Celtics 135-102 in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This will be the two teams third straight NBA Finals meeting, something that has never been done in the history of basketball. It is the third meeting and there is one major thing that will be different this year than the past two years, health. The two teams come into this years matchup healthy for the first time in 3 meetings, which is a blessing for basketball fans everywhere.
This years matchup may be the most anticipated Finals of the past 10-15 years, with there being superstars and stars everywhere on the court. For the first time in his career, Lebron James will get to go head-to-head with the second-best player in the world. Something that has escaped Lebron his entire career, much of which happened when future Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant was playing at a high level. The two made it to the finals while they both were playing, but never once made it in the same year.
After last years NBA Finals, most expected the Warriors to bring back a majority of their team and give it another go as they were coming off what may be the most impressive regular season in NBA History. That all changed with two letters, KD (Kevin Durant). The thought of adding Kevin Durant to the Warriors was not really thought to be very probable. Most thought he would stay in Oklahoma City as he had just taken the Warriors to the brink of elimination. Not only did he leave Oklahoma City, he left and went to the "villains" of the league, forming what may be the most star studded "big 4" in the history of the game. They essentially replaced Harrison Barnes, who shot 31% from three, and averaged 9.8 points per game on 35% from the field, with the second-best player in the world. So, you take a team who won 73 games the year before and then they add the second-best player to their already great team, making them even harder to contain.
The Cavaliers return with the best player in the world, Lebron James, and two stars that are playing with extreme confidence coming in to the Finals. Kyrie Irving in the past 2-3 games has returned to his form. He is taking and making extremely difficult shots, that even great defense is not able to slow down at this point. Kevin Love is playing at a level that may be even higher than his Minnesota Timberwolves days. They will need these two to be at their best, on top of what Lebron gives them.
This matchup on paper has a chance to be really good, although that can change quickly as we saw last year in the Finals. Only one game was within 5 points under 5 minutes in the 4th. Either way, it is going to be star studded and fun to watch.
Keep your eye out for a 2017 NBA Finals preview early next week as I will break down the matchup and give my prediction. (Which I am sure will change 25 times before I make up my mind)