OAKLAND, Calif., Sporting Alert — Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Oracle Arena is on Thursday night and live streaming will be on Watch ABC online at 9 p.m. ET, also on ABC.
It’s the matchup everyone had predicted at the start of the season, so it wasn’t really surprising to many basketball fans preparing to take in the battle.
“At the start of the season I picked a rematch, so I’m not too surprise that this has happened,” said a Cavs fans, hoping that his favourite team can steal a win on the road in Game 1.
“We need this. I feel like we need it more than the Warriors do. I think LeBron will pull us through this time. Not too worried.”
While the Cavaliers were easily breezing through the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Warriors needed to overcome a very determined Oklahoma City Thunder squad to secure their spot from the Western Conference.
Down 3-1 and needing to win all three of the last games in the series, Golden State, led by Klay Thompson and the reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry, raced into the record books with the stunning comeback to break the hearts of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The defending champions open the spread with a 75-percent chance of winning back-to-back titles, but Cavaliers star forward LeBron James isn’t paying too much attention to those Vegas odds.
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook also has the Warriors as a 5.5-point favourite to win Thursday night’s Game 1 contest.
“Not my concern. I don’t get involved in all of that — underdog, overdog, whatever the case may be. It’s stupidity,” James told the media on Tuesday.
James and the Cavaliers were unable to contain Curry and company last year, despite leading the series 2-1, but the four-time MVP is confident that the pieces are now in place to mount a better challenge.
Last year he was already without star forward Kevin Love, while leading point guard Kyrie Irving was hobbling in the finals.
Not only are those two players are fit and ready, but the supporting cast, which includes the likes of Channing Frye, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson and veteran Richard Jefferson are also ready to battle.
“We’re better built to start the Finals than we were last year,” James said. “Doesn’t matter who it’s against. I mean, that’s not a headline. It’s obvious.”
Meanwhile, despite being a big hit in the league in the last few seasons, Curry says he has no interest in reports pitting him against James about who is the likely “face of the NBA” these days.
Many pundits, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, suggested that Curry would have to be considered as the NBA “King” if he defeated James in the finals again, but the star point guard said those talks are “really annoying” him, as his only focus is to secure his second NBA championship title.
“It’s really annoying for me,” Curry said on Wednesday. “That’s not what I’m playing for, to be the face of the NBA or to be this or that or to take LeBron’s throne or whatever.
“You know, I’m trying to chase rings, and that’s all I’m about. So that’s where the conversation stops for me.”
He added: “Us being back here against the Cavs again, there are obviously storylines and whatnot that as a basketball fan are pretty cool when you have two teams fighting for the same trophy once again and trying to play at a very high level to help our team get there.
“At the end of the day, that’s all I’m worried about.”