The Golden State Warriors have had to wait almost a year to get the opportunity to face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third consecutive time in the NBA Finals and now with several extra motivations that make them even more favorites and better team .
The title won last year by the Cavaliers was not the best team in the league but the one who had the most luck, was favored arbitral decisions rather than controversial and also took advantage of the physical collapse suffered by the base Stephen Curry and The mental and behavioral errors of Draymond Green.
When the Warriors were at their normal level of play the series to the best of seven put it to only one triumph (3-1) of having obtained the second consecutive title.
The rest is already history and as, aside from Cavaliers fans, the rest of the good fans of the sport saw that the final result of the 2016 Finals duel was not according to the quality of the teams that disputed them, the Rematch this year is “justice.”
The champions of 2016 against the champions of 2015. The first “double revenge” –revancha of a rematch– in the history of the league.
It’s the most anticipated, anticipated and probably what the Cavaliers and Warriors craved as teams in securing their legacy in NBA history.
“I’ve been fortunate to be part of this league in recent years and play at the highest level,” said LeBron James, the Cavaliers’ star, who reaches the final for the eighth time and the last seven consecutively. “But we’re going to enjoy a couple of more days before we get caught up in that tough crash in the West.”
The Cavaliers and the Warriors shared victories in the two games this season, both winning at home. Cleveland won by one point at Christmas, while Golden State beat Cleveland 35th on Jan. 16.
The Warriors were again the league’s best record with 67 wins at the end of the regular season 2016-17 competition, including a 27-1 run in the last 28 games and are now unbeaten 12-0 in the playoffs, which Is already historical mark.
Cleveland, who sometimes looked drowsy in the regular season, posted a 12-1 record in the Eastern Conference playoffs that ended Thursday with a win over Boston but again the rivals he had were far inferior to those they faced The Warriors.
“By playing in this league you can not take anything for granted,” said Curry. “Thirty teams prepare each year to try to reach this point, and only two achieve it. So one must value it, we need to understand the privilege it represents and the opportunity we have to play in the final again, have the opportunity to win a championship”.
While Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was quoted this week as saying he believed the Boston offense was “harder to cope with” than Golden State. When asked what he thought about Thursday, Warriors interim coach Mike Brown said, “That’s your opinion. It’s funny.”
What if it is well defined is that both teams have respect and regardless of the psychological strategy that they are going to use in the field are the rivals that the fans wanted to see.
“The best team in our league in the last three years,” James admitted of the Warriors. “And they have incorporated an incredible player with the arrival of Kevin Durant this year, which makes it even harder for them to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically, we have to be ready for the challenge.”
While for James, the NBA Finals are already an annual ritual, for Durant, his arrival puts an end to a five-year wait.
The only other time Durant reached the final was in 2012, when he played with the Oklahoma City Thunder and lost them 1-4 for the best of seven against the Miami Heat when James won his first league title.
As soon as that series was over, James hugged Durant, telling the then Thunder star and franchise player, with whom he was then his summer training partner, who was proud of him, but did not want to cross again with He on the road to the title fight.
He will and this time, not with an inexperienced team like the Thunder, but with the best of the league and that for many throughout the regular season proved that he was the true champion of the NBA.
Beginning next Thursday, with the first game of the series to the best of seven to be played at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, you will see who is the best team in the NBA.