NBA Finals: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant will join LeBron James, Dwyane Wade as all-time great NBA duo

With each Warriors win, this season’s Finals is becoming less and less interesting.

But as Golden State inches closer to a perfect 16-0 postseason record, putting this team in its proper historical perspective is becoming more and more interesting. The Warriors took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Wednesday night. Continue reading “NBA Finals: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant will join LeBron James, Dwyane Wade as all-time great NBA duo”

South Florida is paying attention to the 2017 NBA Finals. A look at the numbers …

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is defended by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during the second half of Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 4, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MIAMI — Is South Florida turning into a basketball town?

That’s been a question asked by many since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami to form the Big Three in the summer of 2010.

It’s unfair to answer this based on one game, but the television ratings for Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals are worth noting. According to Nielsen, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market ranked fourth with a 17.7 rating behind just Cleveland (32.4), San Francisco-Oakland (31.1) and Columbus (19.5) — three markets with an obvious rooting interest in this year’s Finals between Golden State and Cleveland. Continue reading “South Florida is paying attention to the 2017 NBA Finals. A look at the numbers …”

Game 1 of Finals exactly what Kevin Durant envisioned when he signed with Warriors 11 months ago

Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers just forgot Kevin Durant was on the floor. After all, the last two years they didn’t have to worry about Durant when they faced the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, with the eight-time All-Star nothing more than a spectator after his Oklahoma City teams were eliminated.

How else to explain the fact that Durant was more wide open than Draymond Green’s mouth during most of Thursday’s Game 1? The result was exactly what Durant envisioned when he left Oklahoma City 11 months ago, a juggernaut offense taking down the Cavs in the Finals.

The Warriors’ 113-91 dismantling of the Cavaliers showed exactly how dangerous they have become with Durant. Sure, Durant scored 38 points, shot 14 of 26 and his six dunks reminded us all just how bad the Cavaliers’ defense was late in the season, but this is why the Warriors will be so hard to beat. …

Kevin Durant dunks during Game 1 of the Finals. (John G. Mabanglo/Pool Photo via AP)

With four All-Stars, even if two have checked out offensively, as Klay Thompson and Green did in Game 1, combining for 15 points and 22 missed shots, the Warriors always will have two players ready to take over. In Game 1, Stephen Curry was that other guy with 28 points.

The Cavaliers’ treatment of Durant was baffling, appearing more concerned with the 3-point shooters as he would race down the court with the ball. Durant had six dunks in the first half, five in transition. Of course, Cleveland’s transition defense was the second worst in the league this year, so …

The one play that was a microcosm of this game occurred in the first half when Durant grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball — all the while his eyes on Curry on the left side hoping LeBron James and Kyrie Irving would bite. Both did and suddenly the middle of the court was wide open and Durant went in for another uncontested dunk.

Just as he envisioned.

Another disappointing Game 1 for LeBron: LeBron James has been to eight Finals, and seven times his teams have lost Game 1. And the only win was in 2011, his first Finals game as a member of the Heat. Miami went on to lose that series to Dallas in six games. James’s 28 points and 15 rebounds did not tell the entire story. His defense on Durant was atrocious and he had eight of Cleveland’s 20 turnovers, the third most by an individual in Finals history. Clearly frustrated, James is going to need a lot more help than Irving scoring 24 points if Cleveland is going to avoid being embarrassed in this series.

LeBron James on the bench during the Cavaliers loss to the Warriors in Game 1 of the Finals. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Hey Cleveland, you’re not in the East anymore: The Cavaliers blew through the Eastern Conference during the playoffs, going 12-1 on the way to their third straight trip to the Finals. But the Cavaliers are no longer facing the weaker teams from the East and it showed. Cleveland averaged 116.8 points, shot 50.7 percent and held the Pacers, Raptors and Celtics to 87 field-goal attempts per game in the first three rounds. In Game 1, Cleveland scored 91 points, shot 35.5 percent and the Warriors took an astounding 106 shots. Welcome to the big leagues.

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[LeBron James entering the NBA Finals as the underdog … again]

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LeBron James entering the NBA Finals as the underdog … again

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the trophy presentation after Game Five of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

This might sound strange, but LeBron James is used to being the underdog. Yes, one of the greatest players in NBA history is getting accustomed to the “little guy” role.

As James gets ready to make his eighth career NBA Finals appearance with Game 1 between the Cavaliers and Warriors on Thursday night, he’ll enter as the underdog once again. Continue reading “LeBron James entering the NBA Finals as the underdog … again”