Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Sport | By Charlene Craig

Capsule preview of the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup


This is the best team the Cavs have add since LeBron returned. It is what it is.

And in Game 1, the Warriors demolished them so thoroughly in a 113-91 win on Thursday that you wonder how the Cavaliers - or anyone else - could ever beat them. Instead, this game felt like the start of a coronation for this reloaded superteam in Oakland.

"We're just going to have to dig our feet in and be able to guard the basketball", guard Kyrie Irving said. "I think they would say the same thing about us".

In their nightmares the Cavaliers will see Durant sprinting down the middle of the court, and slamming down an uncontested dunk. The Warriors are favored, after all, just as they were previous year. He is also averaging career playoff highs in shooting percentage (.566) and 3-point shooting (.421) while grabbing 8.0 rebounds and dishing out 7.0 assists.

The turnovers were an issue all night, with James committing eight of them.

The acquisition sent quakes throughout the National Basketball Association and all but assured the Warriors, who went on to post the league's best record, a ticket back to the Finals.

In a season filled with doubts, animosity, and coaching changes, LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland's 52-year curse with a championship. It's two of the teams playing some of the best basketball.

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Story line: The Warriors and Cavaliers make NBA history by becoming the first teams to meet in three straight NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers won a seven-game series in 2016 after trailing 3-1 in the series. It was a crushing defeat for the Warriors, who led 3-1 before the Cavs won three games in a row to claim the championship.

"I mean [Golden State's] got a lot of shooters but do they got anybody to play defense and stop a guy like LeBron?", Kasich asked.

This year, the showdown seemed inevitable. This marks the third consecutive year the Cavs and Warriors have faced each other in the finals (a first in National Basketball Association history), with both teams splitting the first two matchups. "And hopefully we keep it going, but we fully respect and are aware that this team that we're playing, they're the champions and we're not", Kerr said. "That gives us a chance in any game". On top of that, the Dubs lead all remaining postseason teams in steals per game (9.2), blocks per game (6.8), and rebounds per game (45.8).

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr watched the game from the locker room, unable to take the sideline due to complications from a back surgery that has sidelined him since the first round of the playoffs. Both these teams come in with high-powered offenses. Once during the first quarter, Durant toppled James as he blew by him, then drove in for a dunk.

But with Durant, the Warriors have probably never been better than this either.

That series turned when Green was suspended for Game 5 and James and Kyrie Irving took over from there. The third-most talented teams were the Warriors and Cavaliers from last year's playoffs. The Cavaliers didn't score for the first three minutes and 56 seconds of that period, while the Warriors went on a 13-0 run. Cavs in six. There will be some combination of the J.R. Smith 28 point game, Kyle Korver turning supernova for a game and the always lurking Steph/KD clunker that will be enough for the Cavs to steal this one.

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