Warriors open as favorite over Cavs in NBA Finals

This year, analysts have been hard-pressed to predict what a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals would like, considering the lack of parity in both conferences - the Cavs were an Avery Bradley 3-pointer away from sweeping the first three rounds of the playoffs like Golden State - and the Warriors' addition of Kevin Durant.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers open their title defense as underdogs against the Golden State Warriors as the NBA Finals get underway next week.

"The whole underdog thing is amusing to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title", Love said. We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it?

Thomas says he told doctors that whatever happens, he needs to come back even better - "and I will". So the Celtics are definitely behind me in this tough situation, but, I mean, nobody's going to feel sorry for me. Cleveland won the three road games in the series by a combined 90 points, the last two by a total of 77.

It was an inauspicious debut for both James and his new home whites, as the Cavaliers brought back their classic wine and gold color scheme (with navy trim) for the first time since the early '80s. Golden State punched its ticket by sweeping the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals, while the Cavaliers finished off the Boston Celtics in five games to win the Eastern Conference.

This is the usual argument for LeBron: His all-around game is better than Jordan's, and if you're trying to determine the best basketball player, that's the most important thing.

The 2016 champion Cavs will battle the 2015 champion Warriors for the third straight year. "If not, then we'll wait until next summer and then we'll see where we go".

"We're not going to use that as motivation", Lue said.

James elected not to talk about the Warriors following the game, choosing instead to celebrate a third straight conference title in Cleveland and his seventh consecutive Finals trip.

Golden State led the league with a 67-15 record this season and is 27-1 in their last 28 games, including the playoffs.

The Warriors feature four 2017 NBA All-Stars in two-time reigning league MVP Steph Curry, former MVP Durant, Green and Klay Thompson, while the Cavs have three in James, Irving and Love.

Last night, LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan as the basketball player with the most points in the playoffs in the history of the NBA. "So I didn't think I could be Mike". Durant said. "Am I the reason that Brooklyn gave all their picks to Boston?"

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland. Obviously adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP makes them even more impressive. Maybe they counted on the Cavs giving up being down 1-3. "So having that team like Golden State over there who is always pushing us, I know from on this side, it's great for us and it's great for the game".

  • Julie Sanders