Cavs-Warriors Part IV Kicks Off In Oakland

Photo by Cleveland Cavaliers

OAKLAND, Calif. — Here we are yet again.  The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will once again face each other in the NBA Finals.

The Cavs and the Warriors are meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year. Golden State won in 2015 and 2017, while Cleveland won in 2016.

The 2018 version of this matchup is, according to experts, very lopsided. The Cavs come into these Finals as one of the heaviest Finals underdogs in the history of the game. That is also credit to Golden State, who has three or possibly four future hall of famers on its roster.

Game 1 is tonight and the series starts in Oakland. If there’s one thing the Cavs can maybe take advantage of, it’s the absence of Andre Iguodala, who will miss tonight’s game with a knee injury and the Warriors are unsure of when they will have him back. The Warriors have struggled a little bit, especially defensively, without Iguodala. He is also the one who has guarded LeBron James for the last three years and also provides a spark off the bench.

On the Cavs front, they will get Kevin Love back tonight after missing Game 7 of the Eastern Finals against the Boston Celtics with a concussion.

The fact is simple; the Cavs are heavy underdogs and have very little to lose to start this series. Maybe that will allow them to play free and loose in these Finals. That’s easier said than done playing against an all-time great team, but it’s a small reason for optimism.

There are a couple things that the Cavs can lean on. They have LeBron James, for starters. LeBron has been out of this world in this postseason, and there’s no reason to expect anything different in this series. Some people around the NBA are even expecting and anticipating James to average something in the 40s for points for the series. The Cavs also are the more physical team, which they really need to ramp up. The Warriors have proven that they can be pushed around a little bit, especially on the offensive glass. That means guys like Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Jeff Green all need to find a way to out-work the Warriors big men and create extra possessions for LeBron. The Cavs are obviously not the more talented team in this series, but they need to be the tougher team to have any chance.

Game 1 tonight may not tell us much, as the Cavs have been blown out by the Warriors in Game Ones in two out of the three years they have played in the Finals. It is an uphill climb for these Cavs to play these Warriors in 2018. The Cavs haven’t shown us much this postseason to suggest they can beat the Warriors, but perhaps the Eastern Conference crown gives them new life going into Oakland. One thing is for sure: don’t count out The King.

Tip-off tonight is set for 9:00pm ET on ABC and pre-game can be seen on Fox Sports Ohio.

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