The Cavs and Warriors are playing in their third consecutive NBA Finals, but that doesn’t mean everything is the same. Most of the pieces are similar, but there are a lot of changes in both of these teams over the course of the past year, some bigger than others.
We’ll get to the five biggest differences later, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the absence of Steve Kerr on the court for Golden State. The record-setting coach hasn’t been on the bench since the second game of this year’s playoffs as he deals with lingering issues from back surgery last year. But Kerr not coaching the Finals (assuming he doesn’t return) probably won’t be too big of a deal considering the Warriors have done just fine Cheap Jerseys World without him. He’s still with the team on their off-days, going over video and getting his message across.
This will be a star-studded Finals, with seven All-Stars on the two Cheap Jerseys Website rosters — LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for Cleveland, and Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for the Warriors. It is a commentary on the state of the league that only the Cavs and Warriors had more than two All-Stars this year (Toronto is the only other team that had more than one), and they are, predictably, the ones playing into June.
That’s one reason that the league needs this to be a humdinger of a Finals. The Cavs and the Warriors so dominated the playoffs as to render them boring, and only a competitive, exciting series can rescue what was otherwise a weak six weeks for the league.
To do that, the Cavaliers will need sustained excellence from James, who carried Cleveland through its first 13 games with an impressive mix of accurate shooting and efficient scoring to go with his usual passing, rebounding and defense.