The story of David and Goliath is about a young shepherd who faced a giant named Goliath. The battle seemed impossible to everyone around, but somehow—merely using a slingshot—David (the shepherd) could slay the giant.
Much like the fable, we find 2017’s version of David—LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers—going head to head with their Goliath, the Golden State Warriors. These two teams meet for a third straight NBA Finals; this has never been done before.
With the Cavs defending their title from last year, one wonders how this team was dubbed the underdog of this year’s championship series. It is quite simple though.
Not only do the Golden State Warriors have the league’s best record for the second consecutive season, but the team is so stacked that to bet against them would be downright stupid.
The Warriors have the firepower that fans have been used to for the last few seasons: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and oh yeah, let’s not forget the sharp-shooting Stephen Curry. Now they have added to their roster, the length, and width of Kevin Durant.
Durant took so much hell from the media and his peers when he decided to leave (who we thought was his friend) Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder for a team that he almost beat just the season before. He especially catches flack now because he had so much to say about James when he went to Miami the summer of 2010.
Golden State seems like a much more focused team, this year. They are playing like there is much more at stake than a 72-game record.
But let us not forget that even though the Cavaliers finished as the number two seed in the east, does not mean that—should the Warriors win this year’s title—it will be easy. James and the Cavaliers played much of their regular season like 2015. They spent most of the season trying to build a chemistry amongst one another; enough to get them to the 2016 Finals. They’ve added pieces like Deron Williams and Kyle Korver to make sure that they have enough shooters to keep up with the favorites out of the west.
The Eastern Conference champs hit their proverbial switch again this year, sweeping their first two opponents and winning the conference title in five. There were questions about whether this team would be able to compete with the Warriors because they seemed to play lackluster for most of the season, but any Cavs fan (and even those who aren’t) knows that it doesn’t matter how you play during the regular season, if the result is the one you wanted.
On the other side, Golden State swept all their opponents, giving themselves plenty of rest for who they are about to face.
The historic matchup for the books as ESPN’s stats and info Twitter handle tells us that these two teams have combined to outscore opponents by 14.9 PPG this postseason, the largest margin entering the Finals EVER.
Tonight begins another David and Goliath battle. Who will win the third battle of this historic trilogy? Will the Cavaliers prove that they are more than just a stepping stone? Or will the Warriors prove what everyone has been thinking all season anyway: that they are just too powerful a team for anyone to beat?
I have the Cavaliers winning in seven. Who is your Finals champion?
Tune into ABC tonight.
Until next time…