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Victor Oladipo, Pacers

Can the Cavaliers Challenge the Warriors? [BBALLBREAKDOWN Podcast]

When the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals on Thursday night, it will mark an unprecedented fourth straight time these two teams will clash for the title. But there are very significant differences between last year’s Cavs team and this year’s version, making it a bit harder to comprehend what might happen.

While LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, and Kevin Love are still in the starting lineup, Kyrie Irving is no longer with the team, replaced with veteran George Hill who does not bring nearly the same amount of aggressive scoring.

The Cavs road to the Finals was a bit bumpy, surviving a seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo before vanquishing the Toronto Raptors yet again in a sweep. And they had to outlast a determined Boston Celtics team in a wild, back and forth seven-game series.

The Warriors had a much easier task the first two rounds, but came up against their most formidable opponent they’ve faced in the last four years of Western Conference playoff matchups in the Houston Rockets. Pushed to the brink, they took advantage of an injured Chris Paul in Games 6 and 7 to keep up their end of the bargain, giving us all Round 4.

No one is giving the Cavaliers a chance to win this series, and while that might be the best pick, Coach Nick brings in Mike Zavagno of FearTheSword.com to discuss some keys to the Cavs gameplan in order to stay competitive in this series.

Eric Apricot (BBALLBREAKDOWN, GoldenStateOfMind.com) also joins us to discuss things from the Warriors perspective before Dave DuFour weighs in on the series and whether or not Steph Curry is unfairly judged for his defense.