Monster mash: LeBron James undaunted by beastly Warriors

The Warriors are the first team to enter the NBA Finals with a ideal 12-0 record. "I would love to be here long term and win championships here". He'll never be Michael Jordan or, worse, he'll never even be Kobe Bryant.

Kerr, who watches the Warriors games from a private room on television before addressing the team at half-time, left the bench after Game 2 of the Warriors sweep of Portland in the first round. Golden State made it look easy too. Are you team LeBron or will this Warriors squad finish out their historic run?

The win means James is going to his seventh straight finals and will rematch with the team his Cavs beat to win the National Basketball Association championship past year.

The NBA Finals get underway with Golden State, which finished with a league-best 67-15 record in the regular season, hosting Games 1 and 2 on June 1 and 4.

The Celtics get an opportunity to avenge the humiliation that was game two for their home crowd, and it is refreshing that the team and the fans can have a certain degree of confidence that this series can be extended. No team from that conference without LeBron James on its roster has reached the Finals since midway through Barack Obama's first term as President, in 2010. Yes, actual t-shirts. Absolutely heart-breaking. In fact, despite leading ESPN's Basketball Power Index by a wide margin at the end of the regular season, the Warriors' BPI has increased by about one point during the playoffs, roughly the same increase as the Cavs. As a team, they average nearly 14 turnovers-something the Cavs can use to their advantage.

Now they need the rings to go with it. They had won the lottery without tanking, and their young players had developed while winning 53 games. But Cleveland's superstar feels "very good" about the Cavaliers' chances to repeat as champions despite being tabbed major underdogs.

Love was literally a non-factor during last year's NBA Finals.

"Throughout the postseason there's so many different emotions", James said. This being just one illustration that the point guard has not slowed down in any way and will again be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming finals series.

May 30, 2016 - Western Conference Finals - The Golden State Warriors defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder with a series win, 4-3.

"I've played against Ray (Allen), KG (Kevin Garnett), Paul (Pierce), (Rajon) Rondo and Doc (Rivers)", James said.

"I did pretty much everything that MJ did when I was a kid". It's gonna be fun.

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James, who hit a 3-pointer late in in the third quarter to nudge past Jordan on the playoff scoring list.

"I always get mad when guys make shots in the first quarter, second quarter, pumping their chest and then the game on the line they miss", Lue said. What has proven to be shaky is the ability to maintain composure while playing with aggression and confidence - consistently throughout the finals series and especially when not on homecourt. Fair or not. If the Warriors want to be mentioned in the pantheon of all-time greats, it will take the 2017 title to be part of it. But who will manage to one-up the other and how?

Vanessa Coleman

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