The Cleveland Cavaliers met The Golden State Warriors for game 1 of the NBA Finals which ended with Golden State winning 113-91. LeBron James (CLE) had 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists. Kyrie Irving (CLE) had 24 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Kevin Love (CLE) had 15 points, 21 rebounds, and 1 assist. Steph Curry (GS) had 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists. Kevin Durant (GS) had 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Draymond Green (GS) had 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Warriors had a 42.5 percent field goal average while Cleveland had a 34.9 percent field goal average. The Warriors only made one more 3 pointer than the Cavs.
Along with it being the first time in NBA history that two teams meet in the Finals three seasons in a row, the Cavaliers are the defending champions after making a 3-1 comeback against the Warriors last year, and the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals. This series means a lot to both teams and both teams know what it means to lose to the other. However, this is a new year.
Many arguments suggest that whoever wants it more will win the championship. In that regard, who would want it more? It has been suggested by many opinions that Kevin Durant wants the victory more. LeBron’s record in the Finals is 3-4, winning in 2012 and 2013 with Miami, and winning with Cleveland in 2016. If LeBron loses this year, he’ll be the 4th player in history to lose the Finals 5 times. However, he’s been to the Finals 7 consecutive years which lessons the impact of losing the Finals 5 times.
In the media world, Steph’s name is clouded by the loss to Cleveland in 2016 after leading the series 3-1 and vast claims of Kyrie Irving having better handles and ability as a point guard than Curry. The Warriors winning the 2017 Finals will embolden Steph as the player we already know he is. If Golden State loses, Steph will still be remembered as one of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time.
Durant’s story is a little different. He hasn’t had the promise land of winning the NBA Finals but has one of the greatest stats in the NBA. In 2012, he reached the NBA Finals with the Thunder only to lose to LeBron’s Heat in five games. Although Durant has been a LeBron caliber player his entire career, in terms of personal capabilities, he was forced to remain in the shadows while LeBron continued to reach the NBA’s promise land.
With the Thunder, Durant and Russell Westbrook were tasked with carrying the team as a dynamic duo after losing James Harden. With the Warriors, Durant can truly play with the confidence of being surrounded by championship caliber players like LeBron has enjoyed for many years. If the Warriors win, Durant’s fame and status in NBA history will rise to the next level. If the Warriors lose, Durant will again have to gaze at the gates of the promise land only to be denied entry and his place in history will be reflected by it.
If the winner will be determined by who wants it more, then it would seem like the Warriors should win. If the winner will be determined by who has more talent on their team, then it would seem like the Warriors should win. However, basketball is a team sport, and both teams have the capability to beat the other. These NBA Finals have the greatest current players in the game, anything can happen.