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When Kevin Durant decided to sign with the Warriors in the summer of 2016, many believed that Golden State had a team that was going to be tough to beat for years to come, and at this point, that seems to be true.
The Warriors won a title with Durant last season, and are currently up 2-0 on the Cavs in the 2018 NBA Finals.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Cleveland.
According to reports, Durant, 29, is expected to opt out of his contract this summer, but will re-sign with the Warriors.
However, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith does not expect Durant to stay with the Warriors for the rest of his career.
Listen to what Smith had to say on First Take on Tuesday:
LeBron James did everything and then some to help the Cavaliers win Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. James had 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, but unfortunately for the Cavs, J.R. Smith lost his mind.
Late in the 4th quarter, with the game tied at 107. George Hill was at the free throw line with an opportunity to put the Cavs up by one, but he would miss the free throw. However, Smith would get the rebound, but because he thought the Cavs were in the lead, Smith decided to dribble out the clock. The Cavs would lose to the Warriors in OT 124-114.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, he has never seen anything like it.
Here is what Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Friday:
While it’s easy to blame Smith, he is not in that position if George Hill hits the free throw. However, Smith has to know time and score in that situation. In the end, Cleveland wasted a great performance by LeBron, and an opportunity to win at Oracle Arena.
We’ll see if Cleveland can bounce back in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Shaq and Kobe were one of the greatest duos of all-time. The two won three NBA titles together with the Lakers, and if they would have stayed together, could have won a few more.
Ultimately, Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Heat where he would win another title. While Kobe Bryant would win two more titles, with the Lakers.
The two sat down and talked about their time together on NBATV’s Players Only.
Listen below as Shaq admits to not working hard in the offseason:
One of the highlights of winning a NBA title is going to the White House to meet the president, but with Donald Trump in office, that has changed. Will 2017 NBA champs the Golden State Warriors visit the White House?
According to Marcus Thompson, Steph Curry said on Wednesday that he probably wouldn’t go to the White House.
The Warriors issued a statement about the White House visit on Tuesday. “Today is about celebrating our championship. We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions, when and if necessary.”
It should be interesting to see what the Warriors decide.
Kyrie Irving was the third best player in the 2017 NBA Finals behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Irving averaged 29 ppg in the series against the Warriors. During the 2017 NBA Finals, Irving had moments when he looked downright unstoppable.
Finals MVP Kevin Durant was very impressed by Irving’s NBA Finals performance. Durant was so impressed, that he told the Bill Simmons Podcast that he believed Irving was better than, wait for it… 4x scoring champion, 2001 MVP, and Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
“Kyrie is better than AI to me. I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better. We might have to cut that out. I don’t want no problems with AI. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill,” Durant told Bill Simmons.
Irving, 25, might have a better handle than Iverson, and probably has a more reliable jump shot than Iverson, but he has not proven that he can carry a team. AI took a team to the NBA Finals. Irving has not even taken a team to the playoffs without LeBron James. Now, could Irving surpass Iverson at some point? Kyrie has a lot of basketball left; he has one NBA title, and has an opportunity to win multiple titles. However, I am not ready to say he is better than Iverson.
As of right now, let’s pump the brakes on this conversation!
The Warriors have won their second title in three years on Monday night. Kevin Durant was named the finals MVP.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
The “Clutch City” Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. During those two years, Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the NBA. Unfortunately for all of us, we would never see Michael Jordan vs. Olajuwon in the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan went to baseball in 1994, and could not get past the Magic in 1995; the Rockets were not able to get past Seattle in 1996. If the Bulls and Rockets would have met in the NBA Finals, former Rocket Tracy Murray, like Kenny Smith, believes Houston would have won. Murray, who was a member of the 1994-95 Rockets, felt the Rockets had enough to beat Jordan’s Bulls.
“I think we would have beaten them as well because you have pretty much the same team there (from 1994 championship team), minus Otis Thorpe, and you add a Clyde Drexler. A hungry Clyde Drexler, I might add. He was extremely hungry, and wanted to win that championship. He can smell it. From the trade deadline he can smell it, and he really turned it up when people thought he was done,” Murray told Paul Gant.
According to Probasketballreference.com, the Rockets were 5-5 from 1993-97 against the Bulls, but Murray liked the way his Rockets matched up against those Bulls’ teams.
“We just matched up with them pretty doggone good. We had that one monster in the middle they couldn’t matchup with, Hakeem Olajuwon. Nobody couldn’t matchup with him. You had to double team, and you had all the snipers around him,” said Murray.
According to Murray. Olajuwon was “Jordan-like” during those championship years.
“I seen him destroy the MVP of the league that year. When David Robinson got that MVP trophy, (1995) Dream averaged close to 40 points a game (35 ppg) on him that series. Absolutely destroyed him. He was the most unstoppable player I seen other than Jordan in the league during that time. He was a counterpuncher. He had every read for every defense that came at him. He knew what to do.”
It would have been fun to see Rockets-Bulls. In the end, it would have been hard to bet against Jordan.
The Cavaliers were down 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals, and they won it in seven. Currently, Cleveland is down 3-1 in the 2017 NBA Finals. Can they do it again? While the Cavs are the defending champions, Richard Jefferson believes the pressure is all on the Warriors:
“It’s not on us. Where’s the pressure on us? They had a 73-win team and they added a former MVP (Durant). We added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. They added an MVP to a 73-win team after being up 3-1 and then KD was up 3-1. The pressure is all on them. We’re the defending champs. We believe that we have enough here to win a championship. We haven’t played great thus far, but there’s no pressure on us. There never has. There’s never been that. It’s been about them proving that last year was a fluke, KD validating the move here, which it’s been validated, but, no. We feel very comfortable.”
I actually believe the pressure is on the Warriors. In the NBA, the best team usually wins. Barring a miracle, the best team will win this series. Unfortunately, for Cleveland, the best team in the NBA is the Golden State Warriors.
Draymond Green’s mom Mary Babers-Green took to Twitter to give her thoughts on game 4. She believes that the referees were paid off. Mama Green probably needs to stop tweeting.
By the way, Cleveland made 24 threes in game 4. No one can control that! Also, the Warriors shot more free throws than Cleveland in game 4. (36 to 31) I’m not saying the referees were good tonight, but I don’t believe they were paid off.