The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals for the third straight season beginning this Friday, June 1, but this time the winner will be able to boast years down the road as to how they won the rubber match between these two great teams. Cleveland.com indicates that never before in NBA history have the same two teams met three consecutive times to determine the NBA Championship, and with each team grabbing one title apiece, the third battle should be one for the ages.
This series will not only feature some of the best players in the NBA, it is truly a match-up of the two best teams from each conference.
Just how good are the Cavs and Warriors? Cleveland has only lost one game so far in the 2017 NBA postseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Indiana Pacers in round one and then swept away the Toronto Raptors in round two. The Eastern Conference Finals weren’t as easy as the first two rounds of the postseason for Cleveland. This time they had to play five games before eliminating the Boston Celtics at 4-1.
If you think a 12-1 record in the postseason is impressive, how about a 12-0 mark? The Golden State Warriors have yet to taste the agony of defeat in the NBA playoffs so far, and what is scary is that they have made it look relatively easy.
Golden State looks like a team on a mission to reclaim what the Cavaliers took from them a year ago. The Warriors beat Cleveland to claim the 2015 NBA title, then the Cavaliers got a bit of revenge by winning a thrilling seven-game series last season, thus claiming the 2016 title.
So now the question is simple, will Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the Golden State Warriors claim their second championship in three seasons, or will the Cavaliers win back-to-back championships, and can LeBron James bring another title to his home state while solidifying himself as one of the best to ever play the game?
So many questions are out there heading into the 2017 NBA Finals, and the best part is that NBA fans will learn all of the answers as the games unfold and history is made right in front of our eyes.
The only thing NBA fans do know for sure is that Las Vegas experts are favoring the Warriors in this series in a big way.
Golden State is -7 points for Thursday’s Game 1 NBA match-up and they are listed at a surprising -260 to win the series. That number (-260) is a bit of a shock considering that the Cavaliers are definitely not a pushover, and Cleveland, like Golden State, are playing their best basketball of the year.
The comeback on the Cleveland Cavaliers is +200.
While most NBA experts in Las Vegas and across the league have selected the Warriors to defeat the Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals, I am in the rare company that believes the Cavaliers are getting short changed a bit here – especially at the Vegas window. These two teams are both so closely matched that making Cleveland +200 seems like a bit too much.
Yes, the Warriors are stacked, but so are the Cavaliers. It’s a tough call, but in the end, Cleveland wins back-to-back NBA titles.
Prediction: Cavaliers in 7
Below is a look at the 2017 NBA Finals schedule along with the current NBA Finals MVP odds.
2017 NBA Finals MVP Odds
Stephen Curry +210
Kevin Durant +210
LeBron James +260
Draymond Green +550
Kyrie Irving +1600
Klay Thompson +2000
Kevin Love +3300
Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Thursday, June 1, 9 p.m. ET: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors | ABC
Sunday, June 4, 8 p.m.: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors | ABC
Wednesday, June 7, 9 p.m.: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers | ABC
Friday, June 9, 9 p.m.: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers | ABC
*Monday, June 12, 9 p.m.: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors | ABC
*Thursday, June 15, 9 p.m.: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers | ABC
*Sunday, June 18, 8 p.m.: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors | ABC
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]