It doesn’t get much better than this.
Oh yes, there have been great NBA finals matchups in decades gone by.
You only have to think of the greatness of the Celtics and Lakers to envision what this could be like tonight.
You remember, Boston-LA, Red Auerbach’s legendary teams vs the Lakers firepower. Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamaberlain and so much more.
You remember the more vintage Lakers-Celtics rivalry, Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird.
And yes, there was Michael and the Jordanaires, that Bulls dynasty, and the special Kobe-Shaq run in LA too..
Lots of other historical battles amongst talent laden teams.
But tonight the Splash Brothers face King James and his merry men, for the third year in a row. Golden State-vs-Cleveland.
The stats are almost equal.
The Warriors have wiped out alot of records over the last 48-months, and now another, ripping off 12-straight NBA playoff wins. No one has ever done that, in any year, any era.
The Cavs roll in with a (12-1) record in this postseason surge to get back to the finals.
The Warriors went (67-15) while the Cavs came home (51-31).
Cleveland is averaging 116 per game on offense in the postseason, Golden State an amazing 118 on their rampage run.
The Warriors are averaging 12-3’s per night, in typical bombs away fashion. Few realize Cleveland is hitting 14-shots beyond the arc.
The Blue & Gold grab 45-rebounds a night, the Wine & Gold 43-per game.
It’s Cleveland’s big three, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, vs the Warriors brigade of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.
Strategy says the Cavs will run LeBron with that pick and roll till they get Curry and others in foul trouble, or James wears out, of the Warriors find a way to use their fouls to stop it.
Strategy says the Warriors will come out firing threes, take a lead, and make Cleveland play their game.
The intangible though will be guys coming off the bench.
The Warriors like to talk about their “Death Squad”, a package that includes Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Sean Livingston.
But the Cavs bench bunch is very different now than the last two playoff series. Yes JR Smith can launch shots, and Iman Shumpert can run an offense, and Richard Jefferson can lay down some ‘de’, but now Kyle Korver and his 3-point artistry and Damon Williams are part of the mix.
Steve Kerr won’t be on the bench with the on-going health issues. The familiar face, ex-Cavs coach Mike Brown, will run the show. Tyronne Lue, Cleveland’s coach, will sit and watch LeBron do what he does, run the offense.
This won’t be so much about drama on the court, it will just be about shot making, defending, foul trouble, and spurts of scoring.
It’s going to be great, maybe even as great as the good old days, Lakers-vs-Boston, or Michael Jordan-vs-anybody they beat from the West.
The Splash Brothers have too much firepower. The Cavs have to rely on LeBron more than anyone else.
Golden State gets it done, but it will really be fun.