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After what has been a surprisingly disappointing playoffs, and a long week since the NBA last held a game, the much anticipated (and unsurprising) match up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors is finally here.
This is it - the third NBA Finals meeting between the two teams in the last three years. The Trilogy. Goliath vs. Goliath. LeBron vs. KD. Curry vs. Kyrie. JR vs. JaVale.
The offensive talent and the disrespect will be flowing like milk and honey. If it lives up to the hype, it could go down as one of the best NBA Finals of all time.
Who will win the 2017 NBA Finals?
Evan Fiala (@eefiala): I think the Cavs will take it in six. Golden State certainly seems unstoppable, but I’m still way too high on playoff LeBron after last year.
Zach Mikash (@ZachMikash): Nearly one year to the day I said this:
serious doubts about Warriors in finals, Cleveland is a better team than OKC. LeBron will be looking to cement legacy against historic team— Zach Mikash (@ZachMikash) May 31, 2016
Now I’m telling you Warriors in 6.
Ashley Douglas (@AshleyNBAHoops):
I’ll predict Cleveland in 7. I think LeBron James is far too hungry for victory to be stopped this year. I believe the Kyrie Irving/Stephen Curry match up will prove pivotal for the Cleveland given Curry’s inability to defeat and Irving’s tendency to get hot when he's left to his own devices.
How important is this series to the respective legacies of Kevin Durant and LeBron James?
Fiala: It’s definitely more important to KD’s than LeBron’s. LeBron already has three rings and even if there is all this debate going on about him compared to Michael Jordan, most of those arguments are petty at best. If Durant shows up on this stacked Warriors team and still can’t win, he’s going to look real bad.
Mikash: LeBron’s legacy is fairly cemented. Even if the Cavs lose people will point to the ridiculous amount of talent they came up against. For KD the importance of winning is there, but it’s still a lose-lose situation. If the Warriors lose then everyone will talk about how KD couldn’t get it done, even when surrounded by possibly the best roster ever assembled. If he wins people will cheapen it because he was surrounded by possibly the best roster ever assembled.
Douglas: James’ legacy has already been well established so I'm not concerned how a loss might impact him. However, he's somewhat of a different player this year in my perspective—he's more hungry now than ever. He's better than he's ever been. I think a win will only cement the notion that he's gotten better as time has gone by. Durant’s legacy, on the other hand, is already tainted. If he wins this year everyone will discount the effort by claiming he only won because he joined forces with the Warriors. If he loses he will likely never live it down, and his entire career will have been scarred by his decision to leave Oklahoma City.
Who will be the Finals MDP (Most Disrespectful Player) and why?
Fiala: It’s gotta be LeBron, right? But only if Cleveland does end up winning the series. If the Warriors take it, you better believe Draymond and the Warriors won’t have a filter on.
Mikash: I am going with Evan here, but also don’t rule out a sneaky tripping move on Stephen Curry by Dahntay Jones
Douglas: I would imagine both James and Durant will have some disrespectful moves up their sleeves given their unique skill sets. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Irving get a couple in there against Curry due to lack of defense.
Game 1 - who you got?
Fiala: The Warriors will win by at least 10, giving Cleveland enough fuel to make it a series later on.
Mikash: Warriors have been hearing about 3-1 for a year now, I think they blow the doors off Cleveland in this one.
Douglas: Cavaliers. The stats show that Cleveland fares much better with 6 or more days of rest than Golden State in both points and percentage from the three point line. This series is likely to be a three point shooting contest and the Warriors only average 24% from three compared to the Cavs who still bring in about 38% from distance after this much time off.
Who you got in the NBA Finals?
This poll is closed
Warriors in 4
Cavs in 4
Warriors in 5
Cavs in 5
Warriors in 6
Cavs in 6
Warriors in 7
Cavs in 7