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Here We Go Again - Cavs/Warriors IV

Brian Taylor

Posted on May 30, 2018 21:28

3 users

Another year, another meeting between LeBron and the Golden State Warriors.

It was this time last year that I sat down to write my very first TLT for The Latest, in which I talked about how I expected to see an exciting series between what was clearly the two best teams in the NBA. It ended up being the first of many wrong predictions I've made for this site, as the Cavs were promptly dispatched in 5 games. At the time, I talked about how while the prospect of another Final series among these rivals might be exciting, it came at the expense of one of the worst Playoffs we've ever seen. 

Fast forward to the eve of this year's Finals, in which ONCE AGAIN we see the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the fourth straight year these two teams have matched up for the title. The Cavs did just about everything they could to NOT make the Finals this year, including trading Kyrie Irving to their closest competition in the East for Isaiah Thomas, who was battling injuries and bitterness about the trade and managed to suit up for 15 games before the Cavs said "enough" and shipped him to the Lakers. That trade was one of many the struggling Cavs made at the trade deadline, turning over half their roster. The new acquisitions, some luck/fate, and a healthy dose of LeBron James were enough to get the Cavs through the East.

Meanwhile, the Warriors battled injuries through the year, but mostly complacency, as they emerged more battle tested thanks to a driven Houston Rockets team that pushed them to seven before a Chris Paul injury and a lack of a championship winning game plan did them in. 

Last year, I looked at the competitive imbalance between the two teams and the rest of the NBA and how this imbalance is not good for the NBA long term. That statement still holds true today, the difference being now that Cleveland no longer is in that "head and shoulders above all" class that they have resided in since LeBron returned to the team in 2014. What he is doing at 33 is nothing short of incredible. But throughout the season, the Cavs have not had that championship mojo and I'm actually surprised to see them still playing. Unless the rest of the team steps up, this will be a short series, as LeBron can't carry the load himself against this Warriors team, which is just too deep. 

The Finals is supposed to be the most exciting time for basketball, but then it feels more like coronation than competition. I just can't get excited. The teams are the same, which means of course the played out story lines remain: "Is this LeBron's greatest feat ever?" (Not unless he wins it all). "Did Kevin Durant take the easy way out by joining the Warriors?" (Yes, he did). "Can the Cavs make it a series?" (Probably not). "Is seeing the same teams in June even entertaining anymore?" (Not really).

 

Brian Taylor

Posted on May 30, 2018 21:28

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Source: ESPN

Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors: BPI chances in NBA Finals

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