The NBA has strong hopes that a Finals for the ages might put a bow on what could become (for future reasons both good and ill) one of the league's showcase years, and it's not an outsized expectation.
Throughout the 2017 postseason, the Golden State Warriors of the Western Conference and Cleveland Cavaliers of the East have been on a collision course.
No team has opened the playoffs with a 12-game win streak. Cleveland's point differential was only 14 in Game 1 against the Celtics but that contest was over by halftime. "If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals". "It's a bad word, but it gets us right and it keeps our heartrate up and keeps our conditioning at a high level so that we're ready to play when we do play".More news: China building biggest infrastructure project in history
The Golden State team is predicted to take this series, and the debate is just on how many games it would take them. Cleveland plays in Boston on Friday night, in Game 2 of the Eastern finals, and even away from OH it should be favored.
And Beal believes that was the Cavs' plan - to duck the Wiz and have an easier path to the conference finals.
Cleveland's Iman Shumpert tips a shot by Boston's Isaiah Thomas in Game 1 of the Celtics-Cavaliers series.More news: Stanley Cup playoffs: Josi's late goal gives Predators 2-1 series lead
There are still games to bet before that happens and oddsmakers are racking their brains trying to figure out how to set a line that balances the flood of public money coming in on the Cavaliers and Warriors and the sharp action waiting to chomp on a bloated number.
The 2001 Lakers reached the NBA Finals without having lost, though back in those days, the first-round was best-of-five. It's the playoffs, they're facing Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals in San Antonio and there is absolutely nothing to be gained from losing a game in May or June.
Unless LBJ gets hurt in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics, we're likely to see another double digit spread when the Cavaliers host the Celtics in Games 3 and 4. Last 2016, National Basketball Association set a 9 pm weekday game schedule and 8 pm game schedule on Sundays. The Warriors and Spurs resume their series on Saturday with the hosting Spurs getting six points and the total sitting at 212.5.More news: Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes
- Tear-stained apology caps Weiner's guilty plea in sexting case
- Djokovic, Nadal through easily but Murray crashes out in Madrid
- Trump assails 'witch hunt' after naming of special counsel
- Oil down as market stays well supplied despite OPEC cuts
- Former senator Joe Lieberman said to lead pack for new Federal Bureau of Investigation director
- Roadside bomb kills 11; attacks kill 10 Afghan policeman
- YouTube in the living room now supports 360-degree video
- The return of Twin Peaks
- Kushner Hands-on Broker of $110B Saudi Arms Deal
- FAA's drone registration rule suffers major setback