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NBA Finals 2018: Warriors-Cavs, Part 4

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Here we are again.

The match-up everybody expected.

Cleveland, and LeBron, against Golden State, and Steph, KD, Klay, and Dray.

The defending champs didn’t quite cruise through the playoffs the way we’re used to seeing. But they’re here nonetheless. And for the second year in a row, the Warriors are the overwhelming favorites.

The Cavaliers place in this showdown wasn’t always a given. After an abysmal January, the roster was overhauled. Many initially thought the new additions would ease LeBron’s workload. That hasn’t been the case. In fact, far from it.

This is the first time a team with LeBron James has ever had two series in the Eastern Conference go to 7 games in the same season. Cleveland has played 18 games already this postseason, compared to just 13 last year before the Finals. At age 33, in year 15, LeBron is somehow, someway, pushing himself to new extremes.

LeBron is averaging 41.3 minutes per game. He has played a total of 743 minutes, out of a possible 864. He leads his team in the five major statistical categories – although we’re kinda used to seeing him do that. His minutes load is also similar to last post season, but this is coming after a full 82 game season.

Fans who watched the post game ceremonies after Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals saw the King looking thoroughly exhausted, yet focused. As if he understands the task that still sits in front of him. Almost, as if he’s ready to shock the world.

Essentially everybody who knows anything about the NBA knows that Golden State should win this series. They say the Warriors ruined basketball, Kevin Durant in particular. I don’t buy that. It’s not their fault they built a championship team. There is no rule against being too good.

Besides, even when they were “too good”, and broke the ’96 Bulls win record (a record that I thought would never fall), they still lost to LeBron.

There is still one hope, for those of us rooting against the Warriors’ reign. Nike reminded us that he’s known as the Chosen One. But you can call him King James.

Yeah, the Dubs have gotten him twice now. KD even got his revenge for the 2012 Finals.

But remember 2016. Remember what LeBron did in the 2015 Finals, albeit in a loss. And, most importantly, look at the way he just carried this team through the Eastern Conference.

If it’s possible, LeBron will find a way.

But it’s going to take the type of team effort that Cleveland exhibited in games 6 and 7 against Boston. It’s going to take team defense, locked in each and every game. Golden State is too good not to. If the Cavs can execute their team defensive strategy, they give LeBron a chance to carry them home offensively, and late in games.

For more about how the role players will impact this series, read David Fenster’s breakdown.

I’m officially all-in on the Cavs.

I have to trust in LeBron.

Because I want to see him win, and I believe he can.

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About Preston Dubey

Lifelong basketball fanatic and Bucks' supporter I coach basketball; but I eat, sleep, and breathe the game.

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