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The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meet Thursday in game one of the 2017 NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena on ABC.

In 2016, it looked like everything was going the Warriors’ way.

It’s not often that a defending champion with a 12-1 playoff record would be viewed as an underdog heading into the Finals, but these are not normal times.

But it all evaporated. The Cavaliers also have Kyrie Irving, whose Game 7 shot last year decided the championship, and Kevin Love with a year of Finals experience. He missed a lot of time due to injury this season, but when he finally returned to the court, the Warriors became nearly unbeatable.

During the 2015 NBA Finals of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs.

LeBron James scored 35 points to become the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring leader – surpassing Michael Jordan. It is the first time in National Basketball Association history for the same two teams to meet in the finals for three consecutive seasons.

“I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, but when you’re growing up and seeing Michael Jordan it’s nearly like a god, so I never did believe I could be Mike”. But then he added this: “OK, maybe a slight preference for Cleveland“. But in the Western Conference Finals, the duo found a seemingly ideal balance that makes them look as terrifying as everyone anticipated the combination could be going into the Finals.

And they’re doing this without their head coach.

“Want the Warriors?” he said.

Kerr is still involved, albeit donning sweatpants. Williams was once in the conversation for the best point guard in the league along with 2005 draftmate Paul. Just in case there was any doubt that this series is must-watch television, here are five specific storylines to watch for in the league’s premier matchup. “It’s been the best season of my career, but it’s also been the toughest year of my life”.

On July 4, with a 351-word post on The Players’ Tribune, Durant announced he was joining the Warriors. “I can’t lie”, Durant said, when comparing the 2012 Finals trip to this one. “We just kept grinding”. A lot of good players, they don’t learn that early. “So however you want to take that, that’s how the season’s been”. With Matthew Dellavedova acting as the Jimmy Olsen to LeBron’s Man of Steel, the Cavs weren’t able to overcome the Warriors. “Injuries have been a part of why the games have been non-competitive”. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall.

Can the Cavs do it again?

James bounced back strong after a poor Game 3 performance, finishing with 34 points, five rebounds and six assists, while Kevin Love had 17 points, 17 boards and five assists.

“They care about my health, not just being a basketball player”, Thomas said.

When the Cavaliers ended the Celtics’ season on Thursday night with a 135-102 rout at TD Garden, it set them on an NBA Finals collision course with the Warriors for the third straight season.

To do that, the Cavaliers will need sustained excellence from James, who carried Cleveland through its first 13 games with an impressive mix of accurate shooting and efficient scoring to go with his usual passing, rebounding and defense. “But I definitely wasn’t trying to hear that at that point in time“. The big star for the Giants that year was future Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to win Game 1 and drove in the only run in Game 3 with another homer.

For James, moving past Jordan was especially meaningful.

This is James 7th consecutive NBA Finals.

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