Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
Yes, they exceeded most people’s expectations. Golden State is led by Steph Curry, who is scoring 28.6 points per game in the postseason.
The instant Cleveland rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 National Basketball Association title on Golden State’s home court these teams were projected to meet again a year later and for a third consecutive Finals. Brown spent two stints coaching the Cavs but beat Lue in a shooting contest almost two decades ago when Lue was an National Basketball Association newcomer. Durant is the 7-5 favorite there, Curry is next at 8-5 and James third at 2-1. “Two great teams, great players, and that’s what it is”. Cleveland’s perennial joyride to the Finals rolls over minor speedbump after minor speedbump.
“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that”, Thomas said, via ESPN.
Still, it wouldn’t have mattered either way. The fact that it was flukey circumstances that put a dominant team in each conference – there isn’t another LeBron James returning home, and out West it took a one-time salary cap spike to add Kevin Durant to a 73-win team – doesn’t change the fact this season has felt like a foregone conclusion from the start. The Cavs’ stars were unstoppable and the scrappy Celtics fought hard but were overwhelmed. “We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night”. “They just stayed resilient all year, got to the playoffs, and we really stepped our game up”. “So now, with the way the Finals went down past year, if I were in his shoes, I would want the same thing”.
James is still just 32. So, its going to be very challenging.
The good news is that the pieces are in place for that to happen. “It’s been the best season of my career, but it’s also been the toughest year of my life”. Golden State will practice again Saturday then take Sunday as its last off day ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 at Oracle Arena. He said he wanted us. “We still, obviously, have to keep growing as a group”. We’ve got to come out and play. In a series full of megastars like Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay and Red Kelly in Detroit and Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion in Montreal, it was an unsung player who became the hero. He will have to wait for more tests until the swelling goes down, he said.
They’re 12-0, have won by an average margin of 16 points and have faced accusations of being so good that, as it relates to the health of their sport, they’re actually bad. “And so, I think maybe there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness”. That’s all I can give you right now, because I’m happy and I don’t want to be stressed.