Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Seems like old times

Posted by Eric Fisher On May 30

The NBA Finals features a familiar matchup. A very familiar matchup. An extremely  familiar matchup.

The Warriors and Cavaliers are meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season. This is the only time teams have met in the finals four years in a row. The Warriors have a 2-1 edge.

Neither team is playing at its best. In fact, both teams needed seven games to get through the conference finals. LeBron James, in the finals for the eighth straight season, would like to cement his reputation with another championship. The Warriors, seeking a third championship in four years, would like to add to their legacy.

Let’s take a look at the NBA Finals.


How Cavaliers got here: Defeated Pacers in 7 games, swept the Raptors, and then outlasted the Celtics in 7 games

How Warriors got here: They beat the Spurs in 5 games, eliminated the Pelicans in 5 games, and then survived against the Rockets in 7 games.

Cavaliers: The Cavaliers have been the LeBron James show during the postseason. James is averaging 34.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists during the playoffs. The only other Cavalier in double figures in scoring is center Kevin Love (13.9 points, 10 rebounds),  but Love missed the end of the Eastern Conference Finals with a concussion, and he remains in concussion protocol. Kyle Korver (9.8 points),  George Hill (9.7) and J.R. Smith (8.5) are also threats to score, and Jeff Green (8.3) was impressive as a replacement for Love in the lineup, but the Cavaliers are incredibly dependent on James. The question is whether they can continue to succeed while being so dependent on James. Another question is how the Cavaliers are going to defend the versatile Warriors.

Warriors: With Stephen Curry (24.8 points per game in the playoffs) hobbled for part of the playoffs by a sprained MCL, Kevin Durant (29) has become the Warriors’ leading scorer. Klay Thompson (20.5) rounds out the Big Three, which makes the Warriors so difficult to defend. Center Draymond Green (11.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 8.1 assists) provides versatility and attitude, and he could also see extensive time guard LeBron James if Andre Iguodala (bone bruise) remains sidelined beyond Game 1 of the final. Kevon Looney has also been a valuable defender. Guard Shaun Livingston is a valuable player off the bench.

Analysis: James has incredible determination and pride. But he will need plenty of help to get past the Warriors and win another NBA Championship. But Curry, Durant and Curry form an amazing trio. It will be difficult for James to overcome the Warriors’ top trio. Warriors in 5

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