LeBron says has beaten stacked teams like Warriors before

In 2015, the Warriors shocked the NBA by spoiling LeBron's homecoming destiny in Cleveland and winning the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors, who will host Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, have beaten and lost to LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers over consecutive seasons.

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) - Vegas is betting against them and the bookies are hardly alone. As it stands now, no team has ever won as many games as Golden State has in its three-year run, but going 1-2 in Finals would be a blemish that would stick.

When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were celebrating alone amidst a suddenly silent crowd at Oracle Arena 12 months ago, a band of merry bandits having completed an unimaginable heist in front of 20,000 slack-jawed witnesses, we knew we'd be back here again. So we'll mix up coverages, mix up guys who'll guard him, and try to force the action with him and make his uncomfortable as possible. "I think this move, and the criticism that comes with this move, has made me zero in on what's the most important thing, and that's just playing basketball, working out every day, getting better, enjoying every single day as a basketball player". We will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? In the hot take society that we live in, it's far easier to tear people down to feel better about yourself than it is to just go out and seek one's own greatness.

"I appreciate it. I'm happy we've been able to steamroll people, and I love the fact that they've been able to steamroll people because I just love great things". Draymond Green, in an interview with David Aldridge this past October, spoke about the bitter taste that series had in his mouth and what his plans were if the two teams were to meet again in the NBA Finals.

"He's competitive", Love said of Green. You usually don't appreciate something until you don't have it anymore.

Pushing off any talk about the Warriors until after Sunday's practice, James was asked to assess the task at hand: beating Golden State's All-Star-studded lineup of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Golden State already is the first team to begin a postseason 12-0, and the Warriors would love to go unbeaten the entire way - as daunting of a challenge as it would be to do so against King James and Co. And you know the league is lacking storylines when the two major stories are Westbrook vs. Durant and Cavs vs. Warriors.

LeBron James, who scored 35 points on Thursday night in Game 5 as the Cavaliers finished off the Celtics, expressed his admiration for Thomas after the two stars embraced on the court.

Everyone around the National Basketball Association has pointed to this matchup for a full year, and if the Finals don't deliver an epic showdown. well, that's a damaging knock against the National Basketball Association.

Tyronn Lue's side has been in impeccable form throughout these playoffs, boasting a 12-1 record as they look to claim back-to-back National Basketball Association championships at the expense of the Warriors.

James also wasn't quick to forget how big of an obstacle the Boston Celtics' "Big Three" were in the Eastern Conference for a number of years. They've been super-impressive. It's kind of in our minds that that's who we were going to see.

Can Durant, for a long time thought to be the only serious rival to James' individual hegemony, finally become a Lord of the Ring - if we're sticking with the trilogy theme.

Lue knows the Cavs are facing a hard task, one made tougher with the addition of the versatile Durant, who can score down low, from the perimeter and free-throw line. "If you add more pressure to it, I don't believe in it".

"He's moving around a lot more", he said. When you're watching Michael Jordan it's nearly like a god. "I can't really worry about what those guys are going to do, I can just worry about what I can do and get better to help this team if I'm here".

  • Julie Sanders