Forget all the “Super Team” talk and how LeBron James and Kevin Durant are ring chasing. Let’s focus on the game at hand and what’s really at stake. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are heading for a possible 3rd straight NBA Finals showdown if their current winning keeps up. And while most NBA fans are tired of seeing this, they have nobody but their own teams to blame. How can we be mad at either team for doing what they are supposed to do– win.
The Cavaliers finished off the Toronto Raptors Sunday night for their second sweep of the NBA Playoffs and the Warriors will face the Jazz tonight as they also go for their 2nd sweep. I mean, what other team besides the last two to play in the last Finals are undefeated in the playoffs? Which other team can say they have the firepower and actual experience to go another round on the biggest stage?
This rematch must happen if for no other reason then to answer the question of –what if?
In 2015, the Warriors and the Cavs got together in their first Finals match which the Warriors winning behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as they beat James and the Cavs 4-2. However, James was without his sidekicks. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for the series. And afterward, that had to play not only on the Cavs mind but the Warriors as well. Curry and his crew had to wonder if the series could have gone the other way if the Cavs were at full strength.
In 2016, the Cavs were at full strength and the Warriors were fresh off a 73-win regular season. As much as fans complained about a back-to-back Finals rematch between the same two teams, they had no idea what they were in store for.
The Warriors raced out to a commanding 3-1 series lead only to see a suspension and an injury derail their chances at a repeat. LeBron and Irving led the charge as the Cavs came back to take the series in 7 games. Now here we are again. The Cavs are basically the same team, however, the Warriors made a serious upgrade with the addition of Durant.
If both teams are able to head into the Finals healthy then we can finally decide who’s the better team. In 2015 it was a depleted Cavs team, in 2016 it was the Warriors dealing with the one-game suspension of Green and the injury to Andrew Bogut. This is why the NBA needs this to happen. No disrespect to any other team still in play but this is Rocky vs Apollo Creed all over again.
In sports, we call this the rubber match.
While fans are crying over superior talent on both teams they must remember how the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics once dominated the NBA. They were able to do so until someone stopped them. Just so happens that the Warriors and the Cavaliers have not met their match yet in their respective conferences. Didn’t the Spurs win 61 games this year and the Celtics 53? How are they considered a pushover? The teams are who are capable of beating both the Cavs and Warriors but when the playoffs start, they just kick it into another gear.
There’s no need to hate on their success, just admire what we’re witnessing over the past 3 years and let’s get ready for Round 3.