Finals pick up where they left off with Cavs-Warriors III

It was deafening. It was everywhere. Meanwhile, the Warriors didn't even have to work that hard, sweeping their way through the Western Conference playoffs. Cleveland quarterback Otto Graham had three touchdown passes and three touchdown runs.

Last season when the Cavaliers and Warriors met in the National Basketball Association finals, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the series and proceeded to lose the next 3 games, including Games 5 and 7 with home court advantage.

"To be able to get the opportunity to get the call past year to join this team was definitely great news for me", Clark said. "Ignore is probably not the word. Because I know what I was doing on the floor and what my job is every night on this team, so I could go to sleep at night pretty proud of the way I was playing".

Returning to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year allowed Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving to reflect on the good - winning last year - and the bad. A Finals match-up that many saw coming is now actually here and one can only hope that it will live up to the hype, and help overcome what has been a largely underwhelming postseason overall. "After we was able to accomplish that a year ago and we celebrated for a few days, I got right back to work, mentally and physically get my body ready because I wanted to be able to put myself and put our teammates and put our franchise in position where we had an opportunity to do it again".

At least everyone is expecting a competitive finals.

Curry converted when challenged against San Antonio, and he can on Thursday too, but the point is, he and Durant will have to fine-tune some of their late-game flow on the fly in the Finals, simply because they haven't had the chance to practice it much until now.

It has made a big difference for Curry, who missed six playoff games in 2016 because of ankle and knee injuries and was never 100 percent after that. "He's been shooting it pretty well". James won his first National Basketball Association title five years ago at Durant's expense.

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Cavs probable starting lineup: Kevin Love, LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving.

"It's just been such better progression for Steph this postseason", coach Steve Kerr said. "It's kind of killing me". I don't look at anybody pushing me.

Curry made a point to do everything necessary for Durant to make a smooth transition incorporating into the offense, even if that meant his own numbers were down a year after his second MVP and another record 402 3-pointers as Golden State topped the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' wins record going 73-9. It's two - the best two teams in the league going at it. But he still hit 324 3s for the second most in National Basketball Association history to his 402 a year ago and paced himself so he is peaking now. Listening to the guys who are advising us novice bettors is how I got to be pretty good at picking winners.

"Throughout my 13-year career", James said. So that was a little icing on the cake for myself to just let me know that everything I've done, it results in this. Obviously shots are falling.

And since neither Curry nor Durant has really played tight games with the other on the court in the playoffs yet, except against a Leonard-less Spurs team, Thursday could be the first real test of their chemistry under duress.

The bottom line is that this is going to be fascinating finals that everyone will be watching and talking about over the next two weeks. We could see that same familiar picture at the end of Game 1, the one where Curry's mouthguard hangs from his mouth as he sips Gatorade, sits in a chair and cheers on whatever reserve is dribbling out the clock.

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