Last summer, it was already pretty clear that the 2017 NBA finals would feature a re-match between the Warriors and the Cavs. I didn’t mind that because both teams are fun to watch for very different reasons. And I don’t mind it now that the series gets started tonight.
So what to expect this year? Kevin Durant will be the key wild card. Durant came to the Warriors in the off-season for one reason. He wants a ring. And he would be delighted to get that ring by snatching it from Lebron James. You might recall, that Lebron shut down Durant at the last second for the Cavs to defeat the Thunder years ago. BTW, I still think Lebron fouled him in that play. Can you spell revenge?
As BI points out, it will be hard for the Cavs to figure out how to defend Durant while playing Love. And they need Love’s offense.
Of course, the key variable will be outside shooting percentages. The modern NBA game is heavily three point oriented. If one or the other team gets hot and the other goes cold in key moments (we are talking about the 4th quarter), that could be the difference in any game.
Last but not least, a word about physicality. Ever since the Celtics beat up on the showtime Lakers to steal a series back in the Magic Johnson era, we have seen how physical incidents can affect series outcomes. Last year, we had the Lebron and Green dust up. Will we see something like this again? The odds are pretty good, especially if the Cavs go down a game or two. Is this the best way to play basketball? No. But it is part of the game. There will be few if any uncontested layups.
So onward! This should be a lot of fun to follow!