Cavaliers vs. Warriors III, The Trilogy, or whatever you want to the call the 2017 NBA Finals is one of the most anticipated matchups in recent memory. The Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors, and fans around the world waited for a week, and now the 2017 NBA Finals are here. The Cavaliers are entering the series as underdogs against the Warriors despite being the defending NBA champions.
Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors is on June 1, Thursday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California with the tip-off at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Golden State and Cleveland have one NBA Finals win over the other, with the Cavaliers coming off an improbable 3-1 comeback in last year’s Finals series.
The Warriors are heading into the 2017 NBA Finals with a record of 12-0, sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and San Antonio Spurs in the first three series of the postseason. On the other hand, the Cavaliers are 12-1 after making quick work of the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors before dispatching the Boston Celtics in five games.
The Cavaliers know that they can give the Warriors a lot of problems, but they also know that they are in for a difficult battle. The Warriors still have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green but they also boast Kevin Durant. Durant and Curry are having the best playoffs of their careers while Green is the defensive anchor of the Warriors.
Thompson is on a cold streak but he can get hot in a hurry and it won’t be good news for the Cavaliers. However, the Cavaliers are peaking at the right moment with LeBron James also having a playoff for the ages. James is hell-bent on winning his fourth NBA championship with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love also playing out of their minds, especially in the Celtics series.
Love and Green are going to play vital roles in the 2017 NBA Finals, and they could prove to be the difference in the third installment of the Cavaliers vs. Warriors rivalry. Love had a very forgettable Finals last year, barring his Game 7 performance. However, he has been on fire from three-point land this postseason, while Green is doing it all for the Warriors from playmaking, hitting the threes, and, most importantly, defense.
According to Oddshark, the Warriors have 13-2 odds of sweeping the 2017 NBA Finals while the Cavaliers were given 330-1. Many fans are expecting a seven-game battle between the Warriors and Cavaliers, but it seems that Golden State are destined to win their second championship in three years and redeem themselves after blowing a 3-1 lead last year.
Fans should also be happy that both the Cavaliers and Warriors are entering the 2017 NBA Finals healthy. The Cavaliers were without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in 2015 while Stephen Curry was not himself after going to the disabled list twice last postseason. Now that both teams are healthy and reloaded, fans won’t have any excuses to make if their team loses.
However, the Warriors still don’t have head coach Steve Kerr, who is still out due to his ailing back, on the sidelines. Acting Warriors head coach Mike Brown has a lot on his shoulders, but it’s a chance for redemption after getting fired by the Cavaliers twice in 2010 and 2014.
Finally, neither Brown nor LeBron James is under the most pressure in the 2017 NBA Finals, because it’s none other than Kevin Durant, per Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join his enemy and try to win a championship. Anything less than his first ring in his first season with the Warriors is going to be a disappointment.
Fans who cannot watch Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals live at the Oracle Arena on Thursday, June 1 can see the game via their television or live stream. Game 1 of Cavaliers vs. Warriors III will be shown live on national television via ABC at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. And for those people who cannot watch the game on TV, they can tune in on WatchESPN for the live stream.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]