Does anybody really want to see this again?
It’s the same song, fourth verse, when the NBA Finals open tonight as Golden State and Cleveland clash once again.
The odds-makers certainly believe this is a mismatch. The Warriors open as one of the more overwhelming favorites in recent NBA history. All that’s saving the TV ratings is the presence of superstar power.
This reminds me of when I started watching the NBA — more than 5 decades ago — when it seemed like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers met seemingly every year in the finals back in the days of Bill Russell and Jerry West.
Golden State won the championship in 2015, Cleveland returned the favor in 2016 and then Golden State regained the title in 2017.
Had it not been for the whiny Draymond Green having an idiot attack and being suspended for Game 6 in 2016, the Warriors would probably be looking at making it four straight championships as they are the dominant team of our era, much like Michael Jordan’s Bulls.
And why not? They have several future Hall of Famers, including locks Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Green and Klay Thompson could be, though their numbers may not be Hall worthy. However, if that core four stays together, they could run off about a half-dozen championships.
I still believe at some point that greed, not another team, will be what eventually causes the Warriors’ dynasty to end. Curry and Durant aren’t going anywhere, but at some point Thompson and Green are going to want to cash in and be “the man” on another team. If they are smart they’ll put their egos aside and continue this yearly destruction.
Cleveland, of course, has LeBron — no last name needed — but his rag-tag supporting cast pales in comparison. There’s no question he’s The King, but his court is too inconsistent. If Kevin Love continues to be plagued by concussion symptoms, that only makes the Warriors’ task easier. Love has been a bit of an enigma the last couple of years as it seems to be one thing or another that keeps him out of the lineup.
There’s a popular theory that the team with the best player stands the best chance to win. There’s little doubt LeBron is the Jordan of this era, one of the five best players of all-time. To get this team into The Finals is one of the crowning achievements of his career as most of the other Cavalier starters wouldn’t get many minutes with the Warriors.
The sheer brilliance of James probably keeps this from being a sweep. He’ll single-handedly put his team on his back and carry it to one win, probably Game 3 or 4.
But it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s over in four straight. The Warriors, to me, have been bored much of the year. Now they’re focused and with it being June, they’re ready to get it over with. Down goes the hammer and down go the Cavaliers.