Kevin Love says Cavaliers using underdog role as 'fuel' in Finals

Calling for a Finals sweep is disrespectful of the Cavaliers' accomplishments this year and last, but it's hard to argue they aren't underdogs as they look to defend their National Basketball Association title.

According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Warriors opened as a -260 favorite, with Cleveland at +220. At the end of the day we are defending our title.

And considering how good the Celtics' 2016-17 campaign was, Isaiah Thomas has no idea how Stevens isn't a finalist for the NBA Coach of the Year award. It may not have been an ending seen coming given that the Warriors had a multi game lead at one point.

Offensive Firepower - The Warriors' breadth of offensive weapons continually creates havoc for opposing teams, as it is near impossible to cover all of their threats at once.

But Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are something else entirely.

"We think we have a good group of guys, guys that compete and play hard", said Celtics big man Al Horford. Meanwhile, Cleveland crawled to the playoffs with a 21-18 mark in its final 39 regular season games. And that number is likely to get worse for Warriors fans.

Part of that, one could argue, is due to Kevin Durant joining the Warriors. How will Cleveland try to contain Curry? Applying their defensive ubiquity in the finals may help to slow down the Cavs in the finals.

The Cavs haven't been a darkhorse for quite some time. As the players said in the locker room late Thursday night, the Finals is where they're supposed to be, where they expected to be all along. I respect how Hornets owner Jordan steers clear of the subject. Is it LeBron James' fault that he's now on the verge of a seventh consecutive NBA Finals? Even opposing players and coaches are recognizing the type of impact that James has on the Cavs. "I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was nearly like the championship". In the Finals, expect James' leadership ability to shine through, not only with his high level of play but also with the way he maintains focus for himself and for his teammates.

The Celtics medical team examined him at halftime and determined that in the best interest of his long-term health, he had to be shut down for the rest of the playoffs. However, the Cavs have experienced a misstep.

They ran roughshod through the NBA Western Conference playoffs, rattling off a dozen straight victories, winning by an average of nearly 20 points per game.

He plays alongside Kyrie Irving, who might be the NBA's best finisher around the basket. The big star for the Giants that year was future Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to win Game 1 and drove in the only run in Game 3 with another homer.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks. As these two teams clash, it will be interesting to see if rebounding becomes a differentiating factor in the series.

The Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the National Basketball Association title.

Finals Experience - Both teams are driven by stars who are chasing history. Can Durant win his first? James and the Cavs, on the other hand, are chasing a repeat. Teams have to start planning for the post-LeBron era, much like strong Eastern Conference teams in the "90s planned to pounce past the post-Jordan Bulls".

The NBA Finals begin June 1 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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