The series for which we have yearned has arrived, and about as quickly as possible.
Now that it's here, the sheer volume of storylines and backstories and fabricated stories will threaten to overrun us all, from LeBron vs. KD to Steph vs. The Warriors - in the midst of an National Basketball Association renaissance featuring the highest level of individual and team play we have seen in decades - will have gone undefeated in the playoffs.
This time, however, there are no excuses coming in. The Warriors are the best first quarter team in the postseason in terms of net rating (+32.1 points per 100 possessions) and are +112 in point differential in first halves. The series underdog is batting.500 in the last 10 Finals. Both are on a roll. How could it possibly get better than this? EDGE: Curry, by a razor-thin margin, for his superior ability to increase the value of this teammates. That was not the pinnacle of what these two great teams could do. There is your difference.
On Christmas, Durant outplayed James with 36 points and 15 rebounds to James' 31 points, 13 rebounds, and five turnovers. Both have been terrific during the postseason, though LeBron's production has proven more essential to the cause of his team.
No matter, Durant better get it done over the next two weeks. We ask our fans to watch games, to buy tickets to games, to pay astronomical sums of money to come and watch, and then we bait and switch them without any notice, and we expect it to be OK.More news: Moto Z2 Play unboxed, here's how it looks
POWER FORWARD: Draymond Green vs. Kevin Love. He was held to 18 and then 19 points in the next two games against the Cavs. This is not a bad series for an ordinary player - but for Curry, it was a down Finals. LeBron's been playing professional ball since 2003. He was able to take fewer shots and play much more efficiently past year, averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists on 49.4 percent shooting in the 2016 finals.
Zaza Pachulia vs. Tristan Thompson.
The argument from CavsTwitter upon hearing those numbers will likely revolve around how Cleveland has clamped down on Golden State in each of the past two Finals, and that take is accurate. Pachulia will be the first to try to ensure Thompson isn't giving his team second- and third-chance shots that can demoralize a defense. With all this said, James is still listed as the third favorite (+240) to win the finals MVP behind Durant (+200) and Stephen Curry (+210). If his shot isn't falling, he isn't helping. All of these things are little sub-notes in the gameplan that could change a singular game, allowing a team to steal a win they otherwise wouldn't.
RESERVES: Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston, JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, David West, and Patrick McCaw vs. Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson. "It will be a massive upset if they're not there each and every year".
"As of right now I would not coach Thursday night", Kerr said.
Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue also seems unconcerned with the current odds.
Game one of the Finals will take place at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday. There is no denying, though, that each team loves its house. When the Warriors score 103 this season, they're 78-6. The Cavs missed open shots, the Warriors missed open shots, everyone looks exhausted.