May the fourth be with you

Who else is excited for the fourth installment of Golden State vs. Cleveland in the NBA Finals?

Howard Simon
May 29, 2018 - 10:52 am

Photo: Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

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It's Cleveland vs. Golden State - Episode IV, and I couldn't be any happier.

Some of you might be tired of seeing the Warriors and / or Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but not me. This is the matchup I wanted, once Philadelphia was knocked out by Boston. I thought it would be fun to watch the young, talented 76ers against the wildly entertaining Warriors.

Instead, I get another chance to watch LeBron James and appreciate the greatness of his game. 

This has been James' best playoff work and biggest postseason lift since he carried a nondescript Cavaliers roster to their first ever NBA Finals appearance in 2007. James hasn't had a consistent second weapon over the first three rounds, and even though it's LeBron, I'm still surprised he was able to get his team to this point. After they struggled to beat Indiana, I thought Cleveland would lose to Toronto, but James proved me wrong. Even without Kyrie Irving, I thought the Celtics were the better team and would win the Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron was the star again. James led the way in a pair of elimination games wins. In Game 6, he scored 46 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added nine assists while playing all but two minutes.

In Game 7 on the Celtics' floor, James played the entire 48 minutes and scored 35 points to go with 15 rebounds and nine assists. He's averaging 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists over the first three rounds of the playoffs. Simply amazing. We are talking about one of the greatest players in the history of his sport. Who doesn't want to watch that on display?

I'm thrilled to see the Warriors back again. There was no other team I wanted to come out of the west. When Golden State is on their game, it's a thing of beauty. The passing, the teamwork, the three-point shooting, the deadly transition game, the Warriors have it all. They boast two of the game's stars in Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, but as Klay Thompson showed in Game 6 against the Rockets, you can't forget about him. Then you have Draymond Green, the epitome of a blue collar player. In Game 6 against Houston, Green only scored four points, but he had 10 rebounds, nine assists, five blocks and four steals. He does ALL of the dirty work and does it very well.

I don't think it will be a close series. I can't see how the Cavaliers, even with the almighty LeBron leading the way, can hang with the Warriors. But that was how I felt back in 2015 when these two teams met for the first time in the Finals and James had to make a go of it without Irving and Kevin Love due to injuries. James made it a series before Golden State won in six games.

We will see if he can do that again, or if he can carry Cleveland to one of the biggest upsets in NBA Finals history.

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