Golden State might just have the edge in rebounding heading in to this series. Their second NBA Finals matchup comes five years after their first, when James won his first championship as Miami overpowered Oklahoma City in 2012.
Durant will have to be more than just big on the offensive end.
But I insist Durant can't be what the doctor had prescribed for the Warriors. "But you can probably tell, I'm not sitting here happy-go-lucky". Bowman recalled with a grin.
Golden State is better, however, with the same core of stars (Curry, Thompson, Green) but they added superstar Kevin Durant in the offseason to create one of the strongest teams the National Basketball Association has ever seen. It's really that simple.
Defence has been the question for the Cavaliers all season.
Golden State have rattled off a record 12 straight post-season wins, keeping their flawless playoff run through three rounds.
Cleveland also had eight days off between the first and second rounds, then went 10 ridiculous days between sweeping Toronto and taking down the Celtics for the first time. There are no active players that have been compared to James.
"Obviously it's a new season, especially this last series of the season, and we gotta bring it", Durant said of the best-of-seven clash. That Game 1 trend is 3-9-1 O/U since the 2004 finals. Cavs, the reigning champions, made history during the 2016 NBA Finals by rallying back from a 3-1 deficit to capture a franchise-first title. The games will also be streamed on ESPN.
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. The two teams collectively lost a total of one game between them over the last two months. "This year we will win it on our own turf and Cleveland will be lit up like Las Vegas", said Wheeler.
Except those Warriors aren't these Warriors.
But this series is leaning in the direction of Green, the 5.5-to-1 underdog for the award. The only time Golden State failed to score more than 20 points in the opening quarter came in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
They haven't blinked. They're 27-1 in their last 28 games. Which would mean that the superpower Warriors - now a ideal 12-0 and untouchable in the playoffs - would have played 19 games in 68 freaking days. They're rested. They're healthy. Cleveland deserves a ton of credit for shoring up its three-point shooting ability to compete with Golden State.