Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NBA Finals Preview: How Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors match up


Frye and Korver had their minutes slashed in the last round but the Cavaliers figure to need their 3-point shooting now against the tougher Golden State defense.

When the NBA Finals tip off Thursday in Oakland, the drama will be dead.

Lue may share admiration of the Golden State coach, but come Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, he will be attempting to defeat him and to win back-to-back NBA championships. James has called Golden State a "juggernaut" but the Warriors aren't buying all that talk.

Durant is shooting 89 of 160 (55.6 percent) so far in the playoffs, connecting on at least half his shots in each of his past six games. This is the third time in the last 3 years that these teams will have faced each other in the Finals, something that has never happened in National Basketball Association history until now. Then Cleveland suddenly became unable to defend Kevin Durant in any capacity, Golden State looked every bit as unstoppable as they're supposed to be, and it all went to hell. "But we've just got to take care of the basketball", Durant said on the eve of Game 1, via ESPN. "I'm excited this worked out that I could be here".

Oddsmakers have the Warriors favored to dethrone Cleveland as the Cavaliers did to them a year ago, but the snub gives the Cavs something else to prove.

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Last year, the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"KD", James said when asked what stood out about the Warriors' romp. On this play, Curry caught James napping on an inbounds play, leading to LeBron falling down and Kevin Durant getting an easy dunk. So, this year's team is better than the one that they had last year.

Swingman Matt Barnes adds more energy off the bench and rookie guard Patrick McCaw has provided another boost. Kyrie Irving added 24 points for the Cavs. But it was all worth it because of the quest for a championship. "So that's the most important thing, but individually, just work on my game, like I said, approach the game like I always do, and we'll see what happens". They're a great team, they're the champs.

Having swept through the first three rounds of competition to the tune of a 12-0 record, and heading into the first two games at home, Kerr maintained that his involvement would be rather similar as if he were in the sidelines.

"They've been battles, they've been wars", Barnes said. "I think the world has been waiting for this to finally get here". The Warriors held their own on the boards, an area Cleveland has to dominate to win. Love broke out in a big way in the Eastern Conference finals after opening the playoffs with two quiet rounds, averaging 22.6 points and 12.4 rebounds against Boston. Last year, Russell Westbrook was Durant's teammate.

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