Cavs the champs but Warriors the favorites in the NBA Finals

Mike Brown expects to coach the Golden State Warriors as planned in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

We're told LeBron was not at the home at the time of the incident - he's presumably in the Bay Area gearing up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which starts Thursday. Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving shoots during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.

Cavaliers-Warriors Part III of their NBA Finals trilogy has begun and Golden State guard Stephen Curry is wearing a sleeve on his right arm in Game 1.

With the NBA Finals bound to produce some close games, the continuity edge goes to the Cavs in terms of personnel. These are the first Finals featuring a threematch, with the Warriors and Cavaliers splitting their first two title matchups in 2015 and 2016.

Durant says he can take little from his prior finals trip or enduring critics of his move from Oklahoma City, seeing all past experience as part of what has made him the player he is now. No one else on the Warriors has the size to effectively box him out either, which should make Golden State very vulnerable on the defensive boards.

Last season, when Cleveland won the championship, they forced Golden State into a slower game.

Adding Durant to a club that was one win shy of consecutive crowns offers James a formidable challenge in order to earn his own repeat title.

What will be important for Durant is that he is a central component of a Warriors victory - he can't be seen as a passenger riding on the coattails of Curry, Klay Thompson and Green. "I think when you're the prohibitive favorite against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, that means you're a heck of a team, and they sure are". Or can the Warriors continue their run of dominance and move to 13-0 in the playoffs? Cleveland rang up 116.3 points per game against Boston, led by 29.3 per game from LeBron James.

A lackluster postseason could be salvaged by a close, compelling series, which was the result of an National Basketball Association 2K17 simulation that ended with Durant leading the Warriors to a Game 7 rout.

"I really think LeBron's legacy is a victor and one of the all time greats was pretty well cemented after last year's series. And hopefully we keep it going, but we fully respect and are aware that this team that we're playing, they're the champions and we're not", Kerr said. Cleveland nearly certainly needs the Kevin Love of the last round to have a chance at the upset. "I'm trying to do other things other than just scoring so I can help my team put us in the best situations to win", Curry said. By featuring LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who completely understand their roles on this team, the Cavaliers have an advantage that the Warriors generally can not match in a half court basketball game.

But mindful of how the Cavaliers and Warriors went a combined 24-1 in the playoffs before colliding in The Finals, Silver says "we should also celebrate excellence". "So as long as I perform at this stage now and play my hardest, that's all I can ask for".

"I've still got to do my routine, put in the same work and execute on the court no matter what I've been through".

NO WORRY FROM CURRY: After a knee injury in the playoffs and a quick turnaround following the conference finals, Curry wasn't in top shape last June.



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