LeBron James and the Cavaliers take the court for Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals against the Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. The fourth straight Finals matchup between the two teams will be as heated as ever, even though Cleveland is being considered a heavy underdog to end Golden State’s run.
It’s remarkable to consider that this rematch is happening yet again despite the best efforts of other teams.The Cavaliers broke through after an underwhelming regular season to topple past the Pacers, Raptors and Celtics in the playoffs.
The Warriors finally saw a challenge in the Rockets, but took advantage of Chris Paul’s injury and a disastrous Houston shooting effort in Game 7 to rally from a 3-2 deficit to win the series.
When these teams first met in 2015, the Warriors rattled off three straight wins after falling behind 2-1 to win their first title. The following year became known for “the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead,” after the Warriors, well, blew a 3-1 lead. Last year’s series was the least interesting yet as the addition of Kevin Durant allowed Golden State to roll in five games.
Expectations are that this series may play out similarly given how good the Warriors are with Durant and Stephen Curry leading the way, but betting against James can be a fool’s errand. We’ll find out how tough the Cavaliers can make this starting Thursday night.
Cavaliers vs. Warriors, Game 1 of 2018 NBA Finals
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Live stream: WatchESPN