"I saw the quote from Kevin Love that he's surprised".
"This is what everybody has been waiting for, this is what we have been talking about and writing about and now it's coming to fruition", Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters. Bowman recalled with a grin. So Cavs fans looking for any extra reason to feel confident that LeBron and company will once again hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy this year should rejoice that Smith went on record with his pick for the series and thinks the Warriors will win.
"He's going to score". It's really that simple.
It's tempting to say that an unexpected contribution from a member of LeBron James' supporting cast could decide a game or two.
The 51-year-old admitted it is hard to not be coaching during the games after helping put together the game plan ahead of a third consecutive Finals matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State is a -240 series favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with Cleveland at +200. That's how it goes when James, the best player of his generation, decides to make a matchup a priority.
James has probably never been better than he is now. They would instead leave the series in the hands of Warriors small forward, Harrison Barnes. That number (-260) is a bit of a shock considering that the Cavaliers are definitely not a pushover, and Cleveland, like Golden State, are playing their best basketball of the year.
The 2016-17 Warriors have won by a larger margin per 100 possessions than both their 2015 championship team and the 2016 team that won a regular-season record 73 wins.
Except those Warriors aren't these Warriors.
The Cavaliers are being given little chance to defend their title against the vaunted Warriors, who have been winning by an average of 16.3 points per game in the playoffs.
Durant is the difference.
Golden State stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala all sat out a week earlier, avoiding a national TV audience in a blowout loss, just like their Cavaliers counterparts.
Offensively, the Warriors just have too many weapons to stop out of the gate. There's no way Durant will get held to those sort of numbers.
What does matter is that the 32-year-old is having one of his finest postseasons, and the Cavs are gelling the way they did at this time last year.
They haven't blinked. They're 27-1 in their last 28 games. They've won in the first quarter in nine of their 12 playoff games and have done so by double-digits in seven. They're rested. They're healthy. But barring his way is a Golden State squad out to prove they are the super team dynasty of the era, not the Cavaliers.