The NBA Finals: Warriors Set To Face The Cavs In A Battle Of MVP Stars
A look at the top NBA Finals storylines & matchups including this season’s MVP Steph Curry facing former MVP LeBron James:
Via NBA dot com:
LeBron James satisfied ? Never. Not with four more wins needed to finish the story properly. Same goes for Stephen Curry.
Grinding your way to The Finals, for the fifth straight year for LeBron and for the firs time ever for Curry, is just another step on the path to bigger things … a place in history and the chance to bring a parade to streets that have either never seen one or at least haven’t seen one in decades. The goal for LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers has always been to crown his homecoming with a Larry O’Brien Trophy. Curry and the Warriors laid out their plans in training camp, a Larry O’Brien Trophy or bust.
So it’s fitting that the four-time MVP and the reigning KIA MVP would square off for supremacy after traveling two very different paths to get here. The Warriors looked like a lock for months, running roughshod over the league nearly all season, while the Cavaliers had to survive an early season transition period, with so many new faces in the mix, before emerging in the playoffs as the true beasts of the Eastern Conference.
“To be able to sit at a point in the season and see us at 19-20 and watching my team struggle and me sitting out two weeks,” LeBron said after the Cavaliers swept the No. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals. “They wanted coach [David] Blatt fired, we needed a new point guard, could LeBron and Kyrie [Irving] be able to play together. So many storylines were going on. So to be here representing the Eastern Conference in The Finals, it’s special, very, very special. And for myself, I think we all here know how long it’s been since a champion has been in this city. You can try to not focus on it and say it’s not about that, but we all know it.”Same goes for the Warriors and the 40-year drought between titles and appearances in The Finals for the Warriors.
“It’s special, I think, for everybody and the Bay Area to be proud of this accomplishment,” Curry said after the Warriors finished off the Houston Rockets in five games in the Western Conference finals. “It was kind of a weird feeling to celebrate knowing we have four more wins to a championship. You want to be proud and you don’t want to take for granted how hard it is to get to this point. But we got four more to go.” After four seasons in Miami where he graduated from great player to champion — twice — LeBron returned home last summer with his eyes on the prize of delivering a championship to title-starved Cleveland. A “Big 3″ was cobbled together, Kevin Love being the final piece to go along with LeBron and the already in the fold Kyrie Irving.
Never mind that LeBron had to push past the competition in the Eastern Conference playoff chase without Love (shoulder surgery in the first round against Boston and out for the remainder of the playoffs) and with Irving (foot and knee injuries limiting him throughout) only a shell of his All-Star self. The substitutes — Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert — have more than made up for the absence and shortcomings of those stars. The Cavaliers wouldn’t be here without them.
Curry and the Warriors have been on this championship mission since they were bounced in the first round of the playoffs a year ago. A new coach, Steve Kerr, and a renewed focus in the wake of that disappointing finish to the previous season sparked something in these Warriors. Curry and fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson took their games to the next level. Draymond Green developed into one of the truly elite two-way players in the game while Harrison Barnes resurrected his reputation and career after coming close to being relegated to role player status.
A team with superior depth, skill, camaraderie and flow is always a threat to reach this point of the season. The Warriors, a juggernaut from the start of the season to now, left no doubts during a 67-win that saw them leave the rest of the field in the dust. As much as LeBron believes his destiny will only be fulfilled by bringing a championship to his native Northeast Ohio.
Curry, who coincidentally was also born in Akron, Ohio believes that the time is now for his Warriors after a 40-year title drought.”He’s a guy who has won two straight rings before and [reached] five straight Finals,” Curry said of LeBron. “He’s an accomplished player who knows what to expect in The Finals. But he had to win his first one, and it’s our time to take advantage of home court, the momentum we built and get it done.”
Posted on May 29, 2015, in NBA, Sports Media World and tagged Cavs, Cleveland, Golden State, LeBron James, NBA Finals, Steph Curry, Warriors. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The NBA Finals: Warriors Set To Face The Cavs In A Battle Of MVP Stars.