It was all predicted at the start of the NBA 2017-2018 season that fans would get to see the round 4 rematch of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Durant’s Golden State Warriors. As we rewind both teams journey to this year’s best 4 out of 7 NBA title series, their paths here were definitely different and tested.
Cleveland shocked NBA fans by trading their second best player in Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas and Ante Zizic. While also picking up Derrick Rose and Dewayne Wade, who never really jelled as a team. Later in the season, wholesale changes were made to the player roster, which included trading Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a 2018 1st round draft pick to the LA Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Cleveland traded Dwyane Wade to the Miami Heat for a 2024 2nd round draft pick. As part of a 3-team trade, the Cavaliers traded Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose and a 2024 2nd round draft pick to the Utah Jazz. Then the Cavs traded Dimitrios Agravanis, Iman Shumpert, $2.1M cash and a 2020 2nd round draft pick to the Sacramento Kings. After all that the Cavs received Rodney Hood from the Kings.
With all those changes, it was hard to see how Cleveland would make it to the NBA finals, but then again they have LeBron James, who continues to prove why he is the best basketball player on the planet. As for the Golden State Warriors, their season started with most of the roster intact from the previous season, and more seasoned. Nevertheless their Western Conference rival Houston Rockets acquired All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the LA Clippers as the missing link to challenging the Warriors supremacy. Both NBA conference championships were played to a 7 game series, with LeBron James carrying Cleveland to the conference finish line against a young Boston Celtics group, and the Warriors Big-3 of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson being too much for Houston in the final 2 quarters of game 7 basketball.
Many believed that the Western Conference Championship series between the Dubs and Rockets was the NBA finals, with the upcoming series between Cleveland and Golden State being a foregone conclusion to crowning the Warriors NBA champs. Odds makers do not give Cleveland much of a change to beat the Warriors. I remain reluctant to believe that anything is a foregone conclusion with King James on the basketball court. It will be another challenge for the Dubs to repeat as champions, because of the LeBron James factor. With that said, I predict the series will go to 6 games, with Golden State being crowned as NBA champions. What say you?