With the 2016 NBA Finals set to tip off today at 9 pm EST on ABC, fans are thrilled to see how the rematch of last year’s Finals plays out. With one team seeking greatness and another team seeking redemption, all bets are off and this very well has the making for one of the best finals in the last few years.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors come in as a favorite to repeat. Holding home field advantage after a record-breaking 73-win season has certainly earned them that edge in the 2-2-1-1-1 format. For the Warriors, this is an opportunity to not only win back-to-back titles, but to cement its legacy as one of the greatest teams, if not greatest team, in the modern era.
The Warriors road to the greatest team ever seemed improbable from the start as their head coach Steve Kerr missed the first half the regular season recovering from back surgery. They didn’t miss a beat, starting the season with the second best start in league history, (39-4).
A difficult playoff run with an ailing Stephen Curry made all hope for greatness seem bleak. But after coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals, a team has never been closer to the prestigious ’96 Bulls.
For the Cavaliers, this year is all about respect coming off of the 2015 Finals, in which they blew a 2-1 series lead. The Cavs have every right to feel that this year they have the matchup to bring the first championship back to Cleveland since 1964. Having a healthy Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James just may be the deciding factor that differs from last year’s results.
The Cavs road to the finals saw its fair share of bumps, as they fired their head coach, David Blatt, only midway through the regular season. But new head coach Tyronn Lue has the Cavs playing at a quicker pace and has put them in a position to stream roll through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, only losing two games and shooting lights out from beyond the arc.
With both teams coming into the series high on confidence, which team will come out on top? Will the Cavs inconsistent defense be able to contain the best shooting duo of all time? Will the Cavs be able to pressure and penetrate the Warriors’ finesse defense?
However, after coming back from 3-1 against the Thunder, this appears to be the Warriors’ time once again. A healthy Cavs squad certainly makes this series interesting, but the Warriors are the more complete team with a larger goal in sight.
Warriors in 5.
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