It’s the rematch of the decade in the 2016 NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight postseason.
LeBron James and the Cavs are looking to avenge their loss last year when they fell to Golden State in six games. This is LeBron’s sixth straight finals appearance, an impressive feat by itself. Until the fans realize that the Cavs (and Miami Heat) superstar is just 2-3 in the NBA Finals.
A Cavs’ win erases some past pains for LeBron as he improves to 3-4 in the finals but a loss would mean he’d have a losing record of 2-5—a mark that will forever be used against him when he’s pitted versus the other all-time greats.
Back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors are back in the finals after the record-breaking 73-9 regular season—a loss against Cleveland in the championship series puts them in prime “choke” position; a team that ran roughshod over the competition in the “warm-up rounds” but failed in the games that matter the most.
Easily, the pressure to win the 2016 NBA Finals is equal for both LeBron and the Cavs and Steph and the Warriors.
The sportsbooks have placed Curry and the Warriors as the favorites in this series. The Warriors were in this position for much of the season and the only time they were “underdogs” to win was when they went 3-1 down to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West Finals.
After three straight wins against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, both of whom arguably “choked” in the previous series, the Warriors return as the favorites in the betting odds; they are roughly 2-to-1 favorites to win another title before Thursday’s Game 1.
In the opening game, the Warriors opened as 5.5-points favorites against the spread while the totals is set at 210.0—which means the sportsbooks expect the first game to be a high-scoring affair.
At stats-backed fivethirtyeight.com, the Warriors are given a 69% chance to successfully defend their title.
But the NBA Finals rematch is not just about the top two players in the league. LeBron James forms a “Big Three” with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving while Stephen Curry has “Splash Bro” Klay Thompson plus the Swiss army knives in Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
Who will win the 2016 NBA Finals? Can LeBron James finally give a title to his home state? Or will Stephen Curry shoot his way to bringing the Warriors the back-to-back titles?
2016 NBA Finals Prediction: Warriors in 6, Stephen Curry winning the NBA Finals MVP
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