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The difference between the Warriors and Cavaliers this season is striking

28 May 2017

Vegas is betting against them and the bookies are hardly alone. The star of the Cleveland Cavaliers is at the peak of his career. With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant all in their primes, it seems entirely possible the historical streak will have legs for more years to come.

Just don't try to tell them that.

"Think the biggest thing for me sitting here today after breaking the all-time scoring record in playoff history is that I did it just being me", James said. "We're trying to repeat, which is so hard to do". "I don't even think my teammates would say that".

"How can I get the youth to feel like passing the ball is OK, making the extra pass is OK", James wondered.

They were never supposed to be this good this soon. For one, it's the first time that the Cavs and Warriors will face each other with both teams at full strength. The Cavs and Warriors rolled into the NBA Finals with a combined one loss between them, and the rest of the games weren't that exciting.

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Love complimented Green's competitiveness and aimed a verbal volley at Northern California. "I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was nearly like the championship". Golden State will practice again Saturday then take Sunday as its last off day ahead of Thursday's Game 1 at Oracle Arena. The Warriors in the regular season were dominate as well, scoring 115.9 points per game, and allowing just over 104.

James will make his seventh straight trip to the Finals. James' overall playoff field goal percentage (48.2 percent) and 3-point accuracy (32.7 percent) are in range with Jordan (48.7 percent total, 33.2 percent from 3), however Jordan averaged 33.4 points in the playoffs. Golden State was the best team he'd ever faced last season.

"This is great learning for how far we have to go", Stevens said.

As it is, the closest active players to him - Tony Parker (4,012), Dwyane Wade (3,871), Dirk Nowitzki (3,663) and Manu Ginobili (3,009) - are all nearing the end of their careers, and they aren't all that close to begin with.

In the meantime, he will hope his limited salary could help the Celtics add a game-changing player necessary to put the team over the top next season.

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Irving hit three triples in the third quarter, and each of them were filthy. While the Cavs let one slip away against the Celtics, the Golden State Warriors never took their foot off the Spurs throat. This is where Durant will hurt the Cavs. Love dislocated his shoulder in the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics (or maybe it's more accurate to say Kelly Olynyk dislocated Love's shoulder). They defeated him during the 2015 Finals and he got his revenge in historic fashion in 2016.

"I've got to do what's best for me in the long run, what's best for my body", Thomas said.

Lue said didn't deliver any inspiring speech to his players before practice.

"Like I have an extra bone or something, like doctor talk", Thomas said.

For James, the Finals are an annual rite. That's enough motivation alone.

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Maybe advanced stats like win shares aren't your thing, but we can see the same trend in terms of shooting talent. The harsh economic realities of the National Basketball Association, along with potential positional overlap, will soon make it impossible for them to keep the core of this team together. "So, that's what we're focused on".