At long last, the NBA Finals are finally upon us. This series is between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers entered the season with hopes of dethroning the Warriors as NBA champions and the team now has its opportunity to do so. This is the fourth straight NBA Finals between these two teams with the Warriors winning two of the previous three matchups. Now, the Warriors are up 1-0 in the series after a thrilling overtime victory in game one. Can the Cavaliers respond and potentially even up the series on the road or will the Warriors build off of game one and take a commanding two game lead in the series? I would personally expect the latter.
Cleveland’s success is due to its best player LeBron James. In the regular season, James averaged 27.5 points per game on an absurd shooting percentage of 54.2% from the floor. However, James has been even better in the postseason. In 18 playoff games, James has averaged 34.0 points per game along with 8.8 assists and 9.2 rebounds per game. Although he is in his 15th NBA season, James has showed no signs of slowing down and the Warriors will need to find a way to stop him.
In game one, James absolutely dominated as he single-handedly carried the Cavaliers for the entire regulation. In 48 minutes, James had 51 points on 19-32 shooting from the floor along with eight rebounds and eight assists. However, James will most likely need to duplicate this type of performance if the Cavaliers plan on winning game two. Despite his legendary performance, the Cavaliers still lost due to an infamous blunder by teammate JR Smith. The fact that the Cavaliers lost game one is testament to how bad Cleveland’s roster truly is. Expect James to have a monumental game if the Cavaliers plan on winning game two of the NBA Finals.
Golden State’s success has been due to its star point guard Stephen Curry and its star forward Kevin Durant. Both players are former MVP award winners and have proven that they are still elite in today’s NBA. This season, Curry averaged 26.4 points per game along with 6.1 assists per game. Curry’s statistics are even more impressive once one factor in his efficiency from the floor. Curry was shooting an absurd 49.5% from the field and 42.3% from the three-point line.
In the playoffs, Curry has struggled a bit with his consistency and is only shooting 39.2% from three point range thus far. However, Curry did dominate game one against the Cavaliers as he went 5-11 from three point range on his way to scoring 29 points. Curry also converted a clutch three point play late in regulation which gave the Warriors a temporary lead. In game one, Curry looked unguardable and one can expect him to be extremely aggressive throughout game two as a result.
Assisting Curry is superstar Kevin Durant. This season, Durant averaged 26.4 points per game along with 6.8 rebounds per game. Similarly to Curry, Durant was also extremely efficient from the floor. He was shooting 51.6% from the field and 41.9% from behind the arc. In the playoffs, Durant has been unguardable and will likely keep it going in game one. In 18 playoff games, Durant has averaged 28.8 points per game while shooting 47.2% from the floor.
However, Durant was extremely inefficient in game one of the NBA Finals. Despite scoring 26 points, Durant only shot 8-22 from the floor and looked lost on the defensive end. Although people will only remember game one for JR Smith’s blunder, it is also worth mentioning how Durant was unable to box out Smith despite having a serious height advantage. If the Cavaliers would have scored on that second chance opportunity, Durant would have been the one to blame for his team’s loss. Expect Durant to appear a lot more focused for game two as a result.
As for my prediction, I have to side with the Warriors. The Warriors are clearly the better team and should be able to overpower the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had a shot to win game one and failed to seal the deal. Although LeBron James is an unbelievable player, I cannot imagine him duplicating his performance in game one. I see the Warriors coming out extra focused for game two as they beat the Cavaliers by double digits.
Cavaliers vs. Warriors: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
Start Time: 8:00 P.M. EST
Location: ORACLE Arena in Oakland, CA
How to Watch Cavaliers vs. Warriors: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details On Your Tablet Or Mobile Device
You can live stream the game on the ABC app.
You can download the ABC app on Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and the Windows Store. The ABC app is also available on the following devices: Apple TV, Roku, Android TV and Fire TV.