UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Warriors, Come Out And Play
Still hot on closing out the promise he made the city of Cleveland, LeBron James has his Cleveland Cavaliers back in the NBA Finals.
For now we wait to see who the King’s prey will be. Will it be Kevin Durant’s shot to redeem his 2012 Finals loss, or will it be the Cavaliers shot at “unfinished business” against the reigning Golden State Warriors?
Although the home court advantage against the Oklahoma City Thunder would be an incredible opportunity, we all want to a rematch against a team that needed 6 games to defeat a Cavs squad that lacked Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in 2015.
Cleveland did what was expected of them, and steamrolled through the Eastern Conference with a 12-2 playoff record. Within that healthy run, the Cavaliers smashed a bunch of franchise and NBA records, but it all means nothing without the ring.
The Cavs took care of the Detroit Pistons in 4 games, where we only saw LeBron as the leading scorer just once. Next it was a 4 game demolition of the Atlanta Hawks, where again LBJ was the leading scorer just once. Then in the 6 games against the Raptors the King actually never led the series in scoring, relying on his elite passing ability and trusting his All-Star teammates.
This shows that Cleveland have moved on from being the isolation basketball team and one trick pony. The team is ready to share the ball and do whatever it takes to win a ring for the 216.
While the Cavs have been taking care of business, for the Warriors it’s been a rocky ride. After setting a new NBA record losing just 9 games through 82 regular season games, the Warriors have already lost 5 games out of their 16 playoff games. The regular season and playoffs are two completely different animals, and the Warriors have been pushed to their limits.
Those limits have yet to be tested by the best of the Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the best basketball that has ever been played in Cleveland (yeah I said it), spear headed by the greatest player to ever play the game (again, yeah I said it) in LeBron James, and his two very worthy All-Star sidekicks in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
The Warriors are at the most vulnerable they’ve been all season, while the Cavs are at their dominant peak. So far throughout the playoffs, the numbers have spoken volumes. The Warriors have faced teams with inferior records, (the Rockets, Blazers and Thunder going a combined 140-106 through the regular season) and have posted an 11-5 record, with a plus/minus of +6.3. Cleveland on the other hand have faced teams with a greater record coming out of the East (the Pistons, Hawks and Raptors posted combined records of 148-98) while going 12-2 in the post-season, with an incredible plus/minus of +12.6. Most ‘experts’ have said that Cleveland have only made it through to the Finals so easily due to the ease of the Eastern Conference, well those numbers prove that theory to be wrong.
Of the last 10 meetings with Golden State, the Cavs and Dubs have split them right down the middle at 5-5. The most promising piece of that information is Kevin Love has missed 6 of those games, Kyrie Irving has missed 5. Even with all of this being said, the Warriors are still the Vegas favorites to win it all, which only fuels the fire a little more.
The city of Cleveland and their fans all around the world wants a rematch of a series that still haunts us, and asks so many questions. While our Cavaliers are at home resting up, Golden State are still on the hardwood battling it out for the chance to defend their crown on basketball’s biggest stage.
To silence any doubters and answer all the unanswered questions, we want the Golden State Warriors. The brightest lights, the biggest stage, the reigning champions. BRING. IT. ON.