It’s deja vu all over again (and again, and again, and again). For the fourth straight year, the NBA Finals will feature the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in five games last year to move to 2-1 in the three series together.
Cleveland goes into these Finals as the underdog. It will rely on the exploits of LeBron James, who is looking to win his fourth championship. James is averaging 34.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the 2018 playoffs.
On the opposite end, the Golden State Warriors are four wins away from becoming the first NBA team since the Los Angeles Lakers (1985-88) to win three championships in four seasons.
So who will take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy? Our picks below:
Jason Romano: Golden State in 7 — On paper, the Warriors should win this in four or five games. But you can see that this Golden State team might not be as strong as it has been in the past. And the best player on the floor plays for Cleveland. The Warriors will get their second straight title, but it’ll be harder than people think.
MVP: Stephen Curry
Justin Adams: Golden State in 6 — This series reminds me of the first time these two played in 2015. Questions of Kevin Love’s health will be present as he’s trying to come back from a concussion. This places more weight on LeBron James’ shoulders and I see him stealing Game 2 and winning Game 3. But the series will come to a quick close as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and company will reel off three wins in a row to capture their third championship in four years.
MVP: Kevin Durant
Jon Ackerman: Cleveland in 7 — People say this is the weakest LeBron James team in years (the Cavs were the No. 4 seed in the East). They say he has no help. They say he’s too old and playing too many minutes. Yet, here he is again. The Warriors have the better team, but do they have anyone who can guard James?
MVP: LeBron James
NBA Finals Schedule: (All times Eastern Standard Time)
Game 1 from Oakland: May 31, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 2 from Oakland: June 3, 8 p.m., ABC
Game 3 from Cleveland: June 6, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 4 from Cleveland: June 8, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 5* from Oakland: June 11, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 6* from Cleveland: June 14, 9 p.m., ABC
Game 7* from Oakland: June 17, 8 p.m., ABC
* if necessary
— NBA Season Preview: Can Cleveland dethrone Golden State?
— Christian hip-hop artist Bizzle releases Warriors’ anthem with Golden State’s Stephen Curry
— Warriors’ Andre Iguodala wants to be “salt for God” on the basketball court
— Cavs Kyle Korver grateful to God that he’s still playing in NBA after 15 seasons