Photo via David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The 2017 NBA Finals tip-off tonight at 6 PM (PT). It will be the beginning of the third leg of this great rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As everyone knows, Golden State took the first NBA Finals meeting in 2015, but blew the infamous 3-1 lead to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals.
This year, the finals will have a greater impact than any other in recent memory. For example, the winner gets all the glory as they will be considered the better team during this era by winning two out of three finals.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant needs to win to vindicate his move to the Bay Area. However, a loss will be very harmful for his legacy as everyone will wonder how he couldn’t win with Curry, Green, and Thompson by his side.
Lastly, LeBron James has the opportunity to put himself in a conversation with legendary Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan with a series victory. A loss will probably end any conversation revolving Jordan and James, yet a win will keep him on pace to contend with Jordan as the best ever. Doesn’t mean he will get there, but 10 straight finals appearances and six titles would put him close to Jordan.
Below is our prediction of the 2017 NBA Finals which will answer how each great’s legacy will be altered after the next few weeks.
Game 1: Golden State
With the long layoff before the game, the advantage lies with the veteran Cavaliers team. In addition, the Warriors have shown to lose their focus through stretches and there is a worry that a long layoff could further the lackadaisical approach. However, Golden State’s loss from last year will keep them highly motivated. Warriors forward Draymond Green will not let his team lapse focus for any period of time, for this series is personal to Green after he was suspended for Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals.
The Warriors are at home and have more talent than Cleveland, with four great players versus the Cavaliers’ three. The only way Cleveland can snatch one away from their home court is with a legendary performance from James or Irving.
Nonetheless, Golden State will come out with a fiery motivation, shoot well from the field early, and close out a late victory.
Game 2: Cleveland
After losing Game 1, LeBron understands the gravity of the second game. A loss, most likely, will result in another finals’ series loss for James. Nonetheless, he has learned to have a killer instinct and will have a monster Game 2 carrying the team to victory. He will score close to 40 points with a triple-double and his side-kick Irving will hit clutch shots late to seal the deal.