Cavs the champs but Warriors the favorites in the NBA Finals

Cavs the champs but Warriors the favorites in the NBA Finals

While Cleveland is a little healthier, Golden State picked up one of the best players in the world during the off season by signing Kevin Durant. The 2017 NBA Finals begin tomorrow on ABC. If he can control the paint and create second chances for the Cavs offense while limiting Golden State on its possessions, the Cavaliers will have a chance to hang close in most games.

Cleveland's LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are looking to repeat as champions against Golden State's Stephen Curry, Klay Thomson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

Not that anyone expected any different.

LeBron James will be making a remarkable seventh consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals when the Cleveland Cavaliers meet the Golden State Warriors and it his eighth Finals appearance overall during the course of his career. Everyone expected these two teams to get here once again, especially after Kevin Durant made the decision to join the Warriors in the off-season.

"You can't expect us to just say 'oh we're a great team on paper together and it's just going to happen.' You know, we got to go out there and try and take it".

The 2016 series was a flawless storm of ratings-driving storylines - Golden State's run at a Finals repeat after breaking the National Basketball Association record for regular-season wins; Cavaliers star LeBron James' effort to deliver on his promise to bring a long-anticipated pro-sports championship to Cleveland; and the Cavaliers' comeback after falling behind 3 games to 1 to Golden State.

Trump meeting with G-7, African leaders
At the same time, several of the leaders appeared to hope this week's meeting , Trump's first, would prove a learning experience.

Although James arrived in the National Basketball Association four years prior to Durant, the two have what James calls a "very good" relationship.

"I think we played well", James said. Green will look to get into James' head and force him to have an off game like he had in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Curry and Durant primarily know about the stake in this match. "My only motivation is to be able to compete for a championship every single year". The Warriors won the first time these two teams met and I bet you many Cavs fans feel they would have won that one if Kyrie and Love were healthy.

"Pressure is what you make it", Green said.

Asked if there was a "narrative" - his word - for the 2017 Finals, and he said "yeah, win championships". "But people may want to be careful, because I think right now you're witnessing greatness". James was named Finals MVP after becoming the first player ever to lead both teams in the Finals in points (29.7 per game), rebounds (11.3), assists (8.9), steals (2.57) and blocks (2.29). Durant played well, averaging 30.6 points and shooting 55 percent but James came out on top.

"I have bad games, but it's just a matter of me just trying to be the best me I can be, go out there and work extremely hard on my game and try to showcase it". And then he'll address the team at halftime, even at the end of games.