Warriors favored over LeBron and Cavaliers in the Finals

NBA - James surpasses Jordan as all-time playoff scoring leader

Thomas' sister, Chyna, was killed in a auto accident the morning of Boston's first playoff game.

While James is going for his fourth ring, Warriors forward Kevin Durant will be trying to win his first. Until that scenario materializes however, the NBA can probably get a jump on printing up some Cavaliers-Warriors 2018 NBA Finals gear.

The Golden State Warriors would love to start the series off with a game one win to remove some of the pressure of being the heavy favorites. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NBA Championship games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

What were you doing the last time LeBron James didn't make the NBA Finals?

While this may be unprecedented in the National Basketball Association, it has happened once in each of the three other US major team sports with matchups that included some of those sports' biggest stars.

Thomas initially injured his hip in the third quarter of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 15, forcing the All-Star to miss the next two regular-season contests. Everyone knew they'd be back though. All three of OKC's stars were under the age of 25.

Throughout his illustrious career the comparisons between Lebron and Jordan have been incessant to say the least.

For Durant, this trip ends a five-year wait.

Can LeBron and the Cavs do it again?

Championship No. 4 makes James a player with a.500 record in the finals. The first? Kendrick Perkins, who joined LeBron's Cavs in 2015.

As you can see, any title contender has a tough task - and there simply aren't enough players available via free agency or trade that can push a team into contention in one off season while also adhering to the salary cap.

And for good reason. I want the fundamentals of the game to be as great as they can be.

Even still, James remains the Chosen One. The NBA, until further notice, is a league of two teams. "I couldn't have made everybody (else) in the West better". But if an National Basketball Association player can make the maximum no matter where they play, why not join a super team?

Is this any surprise though? But perhaps the player with the most legacy juice on the line is the newcomer to the already developed Cavs-Warriors rivalry.

Golden State has glowed in this postseason, becoming the first team to start 12-0 while winning by an average of 16.3 points per game - the highest margin league history.

Durant's only other time in the Finals was 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder lost to the Miami Heat in a series that made James a champion for the first time.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens wants his team to find motivation in how the series played out after a fulfilling season. If he keeps cutting that distance in half he will never overtake the ghost. That's the number he has to reach if he's ever going to be a close to the consensus GOAT Jordan has been for the past two decades. However, his struggles were with open shots, where he was 3-24 on open threes in the first two rounds.

Now that we've finally got what we were waiting for, it's tempting to recast this Finals as a best-of-69 series and root for one or the other to finally claim it, 35-34.

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