Kevin Durant’s first trip to the NBA Finals ended with him watching LeBron James celebrate his first title as Miami downed Oklahoma City for the 2012 crown.

Golden State has 101 years of experience and five players who were drafted by the Warriors, plus the two undrafted players.

The Cavaliers flew into San Francisco on Tuesday, taking a team photo once they arrived that Cleveland forward Kevin Love posted on Instagram.

The commish also expressed a belief that teams beside the Warriors and Cavaliers can compete for an National Basketball Association title. But Cleveland has gone 12-1 in the playoffs with an average win margin of 13.6 points, James becoming the all-time National Basketball Association playoff top scorer in the process. The 82-point effort from these two kicked off the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history.

The combined 24-1 playoff record is the best taken into the NBA Finals. “I’m excited this worked out that I could be here”.

Could the Cavs win the Finals for the second year in a row over the Warriors?

This is, after all, the same guy who trailed the Golden State Warriors, 3-1, in the NBA Finals last season.

“It’s pretty intense”, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia said. He is the team’s heart and soul, constantly agitating and pushing his teammates to be even better. The focus for this series is on him, since he is the big start that joined Golden State in the offseason, not having a ring.

Swingman Matt Barnes adds more energy off the bench and rookie guard Patrick McCaw has provided another boost. Love has been playing some of the best basketball of his Cavs career, and they may have to ask him to dig deep on every defensive possession, as he did against Stephen Curry in Game 7 a year ago. But it was all worth it because of the quest for a championship. “I’ve always loved that, putting people in a position of power to feel like they can make a change and make things happen”.

The annual payroll that includes 11 first-round National Basketball Association picks – including two No. 1 picks – is just north of $128 million.

Golden State already was hard enough to stop with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but adding Kevin Durant in the offseason was borderline unfair.

James became the first player to lead an NBA Finals in every major statistical category with 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocked shots a game a year ago.

“They’ve been battles, they’ve been wars”, Barnes said. Curry and KD will make sure of that (and then they will both return to Golden State over the summer, as Charlotte fans pining for the return of the golden child get disappointed once again). The Warriors were a pretty consistent under team (53 of 94 games overall) most of the season, but oddsmakers have adapted and the total has gone over in the Warriors’ last five games. “He did a great job of that”, Durant said.

He started this season in Sacramento before getting waived in February and joining the Warriors for the stretch run. It wasn’t meant to commemorate last year’s accomplishment.

Of course, this is also the beginning of the end of the current season but it’s all anyone has been waiting for all season.

Some have waited longer than others. The common defensive strategy against the Warriors is to drift away from Green, a 31% career three-point shooter. West (95 games), Barnes (90) and Deron Williams (85) aren’t far behind.

It’s a really cool accomplishment, one you can talk about for a second, but you’ve got to be able to turn the page and get ready for the gauntlet of winning four more games“, Curry said.


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