"We want to go take back a championship, that's just the nature of a competitor and I think that's the mindset of everyone in this organization to go take back what they took from us". Past year he carried his team back from the brink as the Cavs became the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and win the title. Whichever power forward is able to sustain his strong play into and through the Finals could very well tilt the series in his team's favor.
It's the matchup most expected, the matchup most predicted, and probably the matchup the Cavaliers and Warriors wanted as well.
Appearing in his seventh straight Finals, James knows the Cleveland Cavaliers are underdogs as they prepare to the play the Western Conference champions for the third straight year. "It's tough to say that we didn't expect it; we knew they'd be right there". He's one of the most risky guys we have in the world already.
Durant has suffered some large losses to James in the past-including losing the 2012 Finals to James' Heat team when Durant was with the Thunder-but the Warriors coaching staff believes that Durant's length and tenacity can give James some trouble.
"They garner a lot of attention for a lot of great reasons".
Mike Brown, standing in for Golden State coach Steve Kerr as the Warriors head into an unprecedented National Basketball Association championship rubber match with Cleveland, is downplaying his complicated Cavaliers connections.
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The Cavs have also played well in the postseason, going 12-1 while outscoring their opposition by 13.6 points per game.
"Everyone wants to say, 'Ah man, this is boring and this, that and the other, ' but you usually don't appreciate something until you don't have it anymore", Draymond Green said. Obviously, adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP, that makes them even more impressive.
Cleveland Cavaliers, from left, Kevin Love, LeBron James, Kyle Korver and Iman Shumpert celebrate a basket during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, on Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Boston. Hes doing a lot more movement, which makes it even tougher to guard after being one of the tougher scorers Ive ever seen.. "We're playing well. We're just excited to finally get the ball rolling", said Coach Lue.
Words dont mean much now not his, not Greens and neither do underdog labels.
Looking at the betting trends, the Cavaliers are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight road games, 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five NBA Championship games. And then we go from there and attack that, whatever it may be. That's enough motivation alone. Were not using that as an excuse. "Two great teams, great players, and that's what it is".
And remember, the Cavs have overcome long odds before.