It’s already been carved in stone: The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are going to meet again in the NBA Finals. That’s what the betting markets and the NBA betting expert picks say. The fine folks at Bovada have Cleveland at –250 (bet $250 to win $100) to win the Eastern Conference, and Golden State at –190 to win the West. Those are heavy odds in a league with plenty of stiff competition for the favorites.
Let’s hope it happens anyway. This rivalry has transcended everything else going on in the NBA, at least in the public eye; you’ve got three MVPs in LeBron James, Stephen Curry and newcomer Kevin Durant, another troika of All-Stars in Kevin Love, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – of course we need the trilogy to settle this. There can be only one.
Until the “inevitable” 2017 NBA Finals matchup rolls around, we’ve got two regular-season games to look forward too. They’ll meet in Cleveland on Christmas Day, then the Cavs visit Oracle Arena on January 16 (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT). That second game is going to be extra-nasty. Whatever happens on Christmas will spill over into the rematch, and there isn’t going to be a lot of holiday cheer to go around.
The Cavaliers have already poked the bear once. LeBron had his teammates over for a big Halloween party, and wouldn’t you know it, there were cookies in the shapes of gravestones for Curry and Thompson.
Well that’s not very nice. But the Warriors – some of them, at least – were more upset over this skeleton playing the drums:
One guy who didn’t take the bait: Draymond Green. ESPN asked him about it, and Green just smiled. “More power to them. I already got enough fuel, I don’t need more. Enjoy.” You can already see the gears turning, as if Green is just waiting for his next opportunity to stick an arm or a leg out and see what happens.
It’s all fun and games until someone loses a testicle. Meanwhile, there’s this thing called basketball going on, and both these teams have started the new season en fuego, winning seven of their first eight games combined. And there’s plenty of room for improvement; the Warriors are still working Durant and Zaza Pachulia into the mix, while expanding Ian Clark’s role on a completely remodeled bench. Assuming they stay healthy – never a good assumption in the NBA, sadly – the Warriors and Cavs should be at close to full gallop by the time they reach Oakland.