NBA Finals preview with Kevin McHale

Now that they are a year wiser and a Kevin Durant better, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are favored against the Cleveland Cavaliers in their NBA Finals rubber match.

Each major North American sports league has now had a "Threepeat" championship round, the NHL between Detroit and Montreal from 1954-56, the NFL from 1952-54 between Detroit and Cleveland in the pre-Super Bowl era, and Major League Baseball in 1921-23 between the New York Yankees and New York Giants, who later moved to San Francisco.

The Cavaliers advance to the NBA Finals after a 4-1 series win over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, capped by a 135-102 win as 9 1/2-point chalk that lifted them to 15-1 SU in their past 16 playoff contests.

Steve Kerr expects to decide soon whether he will coach the Golden State Warriors at all in the NBA Finals, saying Monday he is not yet ready but hasn't ruled himself out for Game 1.

Most fans would have to agree with Vegas on this one, what with the Dubs having added superstar Kevin Durant in the offseason-not to mention their flawless 12-0 run through their first three playoff series. "He lost, and then he joined". The NBA hasn't had a Finals with that many current All-Stars or all-time All-Stars since the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers played for the championship in 1983.

On that Lakers squad was current Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue.

"We want to take it to the next series and try to be great and see what happens, but 12-0 really doesn't matter going into the next series", Durant said. If you beat one of those teams, you did something.

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives around Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 25, 2016 in Cleveland.

LeBron James is in his 14th National Basketball Association season and getting ready to make his seventh straight Finals appearance when Game 1 against the Warriors kicks off on Thursday night.

As unsafe a scorer as he is from outside or driving to the hoop, James also threatens by being able to find teammates such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love with passes when defenders focus too much on him. "Once Wednesday comes we get a chance to fine tune everything and go from there". Kevin Love posted the photo to Instagram.

"LeBron is going to get his points and so is Kyrie".

Durant is averaging 25.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 blocked shots a game in the Warriors' ideal playoff start. Durant has not reached the finals since until now. Not one of Chicago's six championship series went seven games.

Meanwhile, the average "get-in" price for the NBA Finals hosted in Cleveland hasn't changed much over the past three years: It's up slightly to $344 this year, compared to $339 in 2016 and $327 in 2015. Each does so in his first year with his club. "It's like, we're in the NBA Finals".

This time around, however, Durant will have the luxury of playing next to a two-time MVP in Curry, defensive player of the year candidate Draymond Green and Thompson, perhaps the second best shooter in the league.

  • Julie Sanders