Friday, June 8; 6:00 p.m. PST
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
LISTEN: 95.7 The Game
It won’t be easy
Two of three Finals games have been decided in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. LeBron James doesn’t want his Cavaliers legacy to end in a sweep. And who knows, he might be back in Cleveland next year. Whatever happens with James in the offseason, he is the best player in the league and has the power to put any team on those sculpted shoulders.
A win tonight isn’t a given. In fact, a Warriors win would chafe against the norm. The Dubs have struggled all season to close out teams. They failed to sweep the Spurs and Pelicans in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Why should fans expect the Dubs to win the Finals tonight?
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are playing their best ball of the season.
Who will be MVP?
The 2018 NBA Finals has been one for the stars. LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have been the three best players on the court and it hasn’t been close.
Game 1 was LeBron’s game. If not for J.R. Smith, he nearly willed his team to an awe-inspiring victory in Oakland. Game 2 was Steph’s game. He hit nine threes, and played with the charisma and confidence that defines the Dubs of the past five years. Game 3 was Kevin Durant’s game. Like 2017’s Game 3, Durant took over when it mattered and had one of the best all-around games of his life.
If the Warriors win Game 4, who will be the hero? Does it matter? Warriors fans, as a collective, seem to hope that Curry takes home Finals MVP. It’s the last award he needs after two MVPs and two championships. After Durant’s compelling performance in Game 3 though, it’s up for grabs.
Warriors fans are comforted by the idea of Durant and Curry as equals so neither receives too much power or acclaim. This desire is reflective of an egalitarian team mindset with no singular star. It will be fascinating to see who tries to take over Game 4 when it matters most.
Let’s be real though. Zeus, Apollo, Artemis and their friends, the basketball gods, will probably punk us all: Klay Thompson will score 35.
Before the series I picked the Warriors to win in five games. I’m sticking with that prediction.
Cavaliers 106-Warriors 101
I hope I am wrong.