Underdog Cavs insist they have plenty of bite for Finals

It's no wonder then that the wise guys have installed the Warriors as heavy favorites to beat the Cavs for the second time in three years and wrestle back the Larry O'Brien Trophy that slipped through their hands last June.

The Cavaliers, who finished off the Celtics, 135-102, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night, and Warriors will have to save us again because - despite ratings being up this season - it has been quite boring.

The Cavaliers, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Warriors in last year's finals, set an National Basketball Association record in winning their 13th straight playoff series potential closeout game.

Aside from a Game 3 upset after losing Thomas to a hip injury, the Celtics lost by margins of 13, 44, 13, and 33 points.

Golden State already is the first team to begin a postseason 12-0, and the Warriors would love to go unbeaten the entire way - as daunting of a challenge as it would be to do so against King James and Co.

The Cavaliers and Warriors split their two meetings this season, both winning at home. Cleveland won by one point on Christmas Day and Golden State prevailed by 35 points on January 16.

Now, Cleveland is preparing for its third consecutive trip to the Finals (starting Thursday) with James in peak form.

James said at a summer basketball camp previous year that he found motivation in "this ghost I'm chasing-the ghost played in Chicago". "So having that team like Golden State over there who is always pushing us, I know from on this side, it's great for us and it's great for the game".

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Golden State led the league with a 67-15 record this season and is 27-1 in its last 28 games, including the playoffs.

The Warriors are 12-0 in these playoffs, becoming the first National Basketball Association team to accomplish the feat after dispatching the Trail Blazers, Jazz and Spurs.

In an era that featured just six National Hockey League teams, the Montreal Canadiens played in 10 consecutive Stanley Cup Finals from 1951-60, winning six times. So you have to appreciate it. ...

The Warriors responded to the disappointment by signing Kevin Durant this offseason and went from a team that broke the regular season wins record to one threatening a postseason mark. After it went the distance past year, nothing should be ruled out between these two teams.

I like what Kerr said this season about how it's in Curry's job description as this team's point guard to figure out how to integrate Durant's talents.

"I think first of all I wear the number (23) because of Mike", he told reporters after finishing the game with 35 points to take his total to 5,995 points. You just looked at him like, 'How did you finish that shot?' Taking it up, moving so much and getting the contact. So it's a little different now, obviously. We're really waiting on the swelling to go down to see what the No. 1 option is. One major prop bet is for NBA Finals MVP, and the Golden State Warriors are favored in this regard too.

Kevin Durant has made the Warriors the scariest team on the planet. He's right. The more you watch him play, the clearer it becomes that he's constantly trying to make the best play possible as opposed to just good ones. "We knew it wouldn't be easy, but we got some things we can correct and come back ready [for Game 4]".