The moment of truth in the 2017 NBA Finals, a historic third straight meeting between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, is right in our midst as Game 1 unfolds at the Oracle Arena.
There are many things to talk about in this best-of-seven series.
This will be Cavs’ King James taking on GSW’s horde of prolific scorers and pesky defenders.
LeBron battling Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
Or LeBron getting ample backing from Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith and Kyle Korver.
This series will be another one for the books, a grudge match that have all the ingredients of a blockbuster encounter.
Golden State won their first Finals matchup in 2015, but the following year will be most remembered when James, who will be seeing action in his seventh straight Finals, will the Cavs from an epic 1-3 comeback to snatch the crown.
This year, however, the addition of Durant to the GSW fold all the more increased their scoring firepower. This is one major obstacle James and Co. need to hurdle but coach Tyronne Lue will be there to sort things out.
For the GSW coaching staff, how to solve problems like James and Irving, most probably, will be tops on their defensive strategy.
As Warriors head mentor Steve Kerr promised, they will be playing to “take what they took from us last year.’’
Cleveland and Golden State split their season series at 1-1, but the Cavs, lest we forget, are on a three-game Finals winning run against the Warriors.
On their way to the Finals this season, Cleveland dispatched the Boston Celtics in five games, while Golden State overran an injury-plagued San Antonio Spurs in four games.
For many, the tilt of balance in this series favours Golden State to win but then again, there is LeBron and his heart of a true champion and true leader, set aside some chest-thumping, solid game-face antics after a thunderous dunk or dagger-looking at the enemy crowd to quiet them after a monstrous trey while away, or egging on their home fans following yet another rim-rattling foray.
Likewise, this will be a series where LeBron’s resolve will be tested to the fullest so much so when they are in the Bay Area. He will have to endure the hisses of the enemy crowd who have been in their rambunctious best supporting the Dubs.
Out to distract him too, if it can, is the thought of an event he could not control after his house in Los Angeles was vandalized on the eve of Game 1.
But he promised he won’t be buckled by the racist act when an unidentified person spray painted the “N’’ word on the front gate of his $20-million home in the Brentwood neighbourhood.
“I’m at a point in my life where my priorities are in place,” James said during a press conference. “Basketball comes second to my family. It actually comes after me continuing to be a role model to the youth and what I do as far as with my foundation. I will be as focused as I can be on the job at hand tomorrow, but this is a situation where it puts me back in place of what’s actually more important. And basketball is not the most important thing in my life.’’
In this Finals, we will be going for the underdogs so we see the Cavs winning again after another nerve-wracking seven games.