By MATTHEW KOVITZ
For the second consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Last year, the Warriors defeated the Cavs in six games to win their first championship since 1975. Golden State will be looking to become repeat winners for the first time in franchise history, while Cleveland will continue to search for its first championship. Both teams are the number one seeds in their respective conferences.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, for the second straight year, dominated the Eastern Conference to make the NBA Finals. From 2003-2010 and from 2014 onward they have been led by hometown hero and arguably the best player in the NBA, LeBron James. The generational talent has averaged 24.6 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game and 7.0 assists per game this postseason. For the first time since leaving the Miami Heat, he has great players to assist him, something that was an issue during his first run in Cleveland. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are both phenomenal players who were injured during last year’s playoff run, leaving James without much to work with against Golden State. They are all healthy this year and ready to knock off the defending champions.
In the Western Conference, the “Dubs” continue to revolutionize the game of basketball. Three pointers rule their game, with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the ‘Splash Brothers”, forming the NBA’s most explosive backcourt. Curry has gotten a lot of acclaim, with some calling him one of the greatest shooters of all time. He has dealt with knee and ankle injuries during these playoffs, but a healthy Curry is emerging and is quite the sight to see. The Oklahoma City Thunder almost upset the defending champions, but Golden State rallied back from down three games to one to win the series in seven.
The NBA Playoffs are always exciting, and this year has been no exception. Will Golden State repeat? Will LeBron win his third ring? Those questions will be answered soon; the series starts on Thursday, June 2nd.