On Christmas day, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be battling against the Golden State Warriors, the 73-9 win team who blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals.
The 2014-15 NBA season marked the start of the rivalry between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, defeated the injury-depleted Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love suffered an injury, leaving LeBron James to carry the team all by himself.
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The following year the Cavaliers returned strong while the Warriors continued beating records, including the ’95-96 Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 win-loss record. Both teams managed to dominate both conferences and faced once again in the NBA Finals. The Warriors went to a 3-1 advantage and were expected to win their second consecutive title.
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However, the Cavaliers managed to bounce back and beat the Warriors in Game 7 on their homecourt. It was an embarrassing moment for the Warriors as they failed to prove that they’re the best team in the NBA. As the 2016-17 NBA season goes, the Warriors remain focus in improving their performance as they managed to form a “Super Team” with the acquisition of Kevin Durant in the recent free agency.
Most NBA fans are excited to see how LeBron James and the Cavaliers perform against the stronger Warriors team. KD eyes to win his first NBA championship title and help the Warriors take revenge. In the start of the season, the Warriors struggled when Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Durant were all inside the court.
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Some people believed that Thompson needed to sacrifice for the team. However, the Warriors proved their doubters wrong as the three superstars started to show some chemistry. Acquiring KD undeniably boost the Warriors on both ends. But they needed to let go some of their players to make enough salary cap room for the 28-year-old small forward.
Meanwhile, after winning the championship, the Cavaliers decided to keep their core intact. Unfortunately, two of their key players off the bench left after receiving decent contracts in the recent free agency – Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov.
KEVIN LOVE, CAVS FINALLY A PERFECT MATCH
After the Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals, trade rumors surrounding Kevin Love started to circulate. In his first two seasons in Cleveland, Love failed to prove that the Cavaliers did the right thing of giving away their top picks. However, in the ongoing season, the 28-year-old power forward/center is finally living up to expectations.
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So far, he averaged 22.3 points on 46.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from the three-point range. Love not only improved offensively but he’s also been a huge factor for the Cavaliers on the defensive end. If he continues to improve his performance, the Cavaliers will now be having a “real” “Big Three” on their team.
CAVS-DUBS XMAS FACE OFF
The upcoming game of the Cavaliers and the Warriors on Dec. 25 will give fans a glimpse of what to expect in the 2017 NBA Finals. However, the outcome doesn’t necessarily reflect their performances in the postseason. Per Hollinger’s Team Statistics, the Warriors are better than the Cavaliers on both ends of the floor.
However, the Cavaliers could have already created their own game plan to beat the Warriors’ “Super Team”. Also, the reigning NBA champions have the homecourt advantage in their first matchup of the season.
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