King James key to Cleveland victory—again
By Al S. Mendoza
IF there is still some among you doubting a Warrior-Cavalier return bout for the NBA crown this year, quit the crap.
Both teams are so superior over the rest that their journey to the Finals is almost a given from Day One.
The Cavaliers have their usual Terrific Trio in LeBron James, Kyle Irving and Kevin Love to depend on.
Their bombastic efforts gave Cleveland the 2016 NBA title at the expense of hard luck Golden State.
The Warriors have the usual antidote to Cleveland’s triple-barreled threat—Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
They are raring this year to avenge their bitter defeat to the Cavs last year.
The Warriors appeared ready to run away with the 2016 NBA title but the Cavs had other things in mind.
With a 3-1 Finals edge, Golden State had three chances to nail it.
Alas, Cleveland dished out magic after magic never seen in NBA history, sweeping the last three games to snatch a 4-3 victory from the so-called jaws of defeat.
One play in Game 7 saw James author an unbelievable block on a sure shot by Green.
Had James failed to stop Green’s go-ahead dunk in the dying seconds of the game, it would have totally changed the complexion of the outcome.
That defensive stop by James, which secured Cleveland’s title-clinching win, was unanimously voted the NBA’s “Play of The Year” for 2016.
James’ brutal power from all corners of the court has again carried Cleveland this far.
Whether Cleveland will face Boston or Washington, the result will be the same: Cavaliers by a rout, if not another 4-0 thrashing to win the Eastern Conference crown.
Golden State will likewise cruise to the Finals whether it will battle San Antonio or Houston for the Western Conference title.
While Curry, Thompson and Green make up Golden State’s most lethal weapons, the Warriors now even boast of having snared Kevin Durant.
Durant, one of the league’s most prolific scorers to emerge in recent memory, will surely be a major headache for Cleveland.
So that while the Cavs are known to be an attacking bunch, they now need to redesign their defense if they intend to contain the Golden State’s Fab Four: Curry, Thompson, Green and, of course, Durant.
Barring unforeseen events as to spoil predictions, the Cleveland-Golden State best-of-seven Finals should be rolling this week.
I say the Warriors have a slight edge mainly because of Durant’s arrival.
Without Durant last year, haven’t the Warriors sped to a 3-1 margin?
Thus, Cleveland’s crown is seen resting on an uneasy head.
This time, LeBron King James will be tested to the max. Again.