Though Las Vegas odds makers have tipped the Warriors as overwhelming favourites, the Cavs enter the series with a psychological edge after the events that transpired during the 2016 NBA Finals followed by the Charismas Day game between the two rival teams.
Steve Kerr's side takes a 1-0 series lead into game two on Monday (AEST) before the scene shifts to Cleveland for games three and four. He will have to make in-game adjustments-throw double teams at LeBron, switch up matchups and work the pick and roll. Iguodala has shot the ball poorly in the postseason but the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will be on the floor plenty anyway because of his other contributions.
The Warriors are 12-0 in these playoffs, becoming the first National Basketball Association team to accomplish the feat, and the Cavaliers are 12-1.More news: Manchester police find 'significant' vehicle
Not that anyone expected any different.
For the past week, the basketball world has been forced to endure a seemingly interminable wait for the NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. The contract was worth $20 million where the first four years were guaranteed and the last year somewhat guaranteed.
This matchup has seemed ordained since James walked off the court in Oakland last June, having delivered his native northeast OH its first major team championship since 1964. The only connection between Durant's first NBA Finals in 2012 and this 2017 version, is LeBron James. "If I don't play up to my standards, that's when I get upset". I really don't know.
The Golden State Warriors could have a familiar face return to their sideline for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors host Game 5, if necessary.More news: EU, China back climate pact after Trump pullout
When you get to the end of this column, you'll be fervently hoping one of those two trends continues. "You don't care who you've got to take down, you just want to take whoever that is down". He had six slams in the first half alone for the Warriors, who at 13-0 are already the first team to go this far in a postseason unblemished. "But it was a reward because when you set out a goal and you're able to achieve that reward or achieve that goal, like all of us, then it's rewarding", said James, the leading scorer in these playoffs averaging 32.5 points.
James' first trip to the Finals came 10 years ago when the Cavs were swept by San Antonio.
Irving winning that matchup against the MVP rallied the Cavs, fuelled a comeback from a 3-1 deficit as Cleveland captured its first major team sports title in 52 years. You can feel a little redemption (angle). Those guys are so good I'm done trying to compete with them. The Cavaliers won previous year, after a one-game suspension of Draymond Green unsettled the Warriors, who ultimately bricked a 3-1 lead. James has called Golden State a "juggernaut" but the Warriors aren't buying all that talk. "From the second quarter on, we were playing great".
The Cavaliers have more at stake because they have the pressure of going for a repeat.More news: 36 people killed in Resorts World Manila attack in Philippines
Golden State repeatedly got whatever it wanted in transition, with Durant twice simply dribbling down the middle of the court and throwing down an uncontested dunk without any of the five Cavaliers on the court attempting to slow him down. He has hit just 38 percent of his shots as his normally reliable jumper has failed him. "It's definitely exciting. I feel blessed to be in this position to compete for a championship".
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