No surprise: It's Cavs-Warriors in the NBA Finals, again

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So it's Cavaliers-Warriors, exactly as expected.

With 2:44 left, the remaining Boston fans began a "Let's Go Celtics" chant that kept going until the final horn, cheering every basket as if the game was close.

"The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing", Lue said.

The Cavs went on to defeat the Warriors in seven games, and some believe LeBron trolled Golden State by wearing an Ultimate Warrior shirt to the team's victory parade. The Cavs were pushed in individual games in the first round by the Indiana Pacers, but even the Celtics were drilled in two home-game blowouts. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day, Golden State prevailed by 35 on January 16.

It was Green who was suspended for Game 5 of last year's Finals for a swipe at James' groin - and Golden State wound up squandering a 3-1 series lead and chance at a repeat title.

As the Raptors and the Celtics will tell you, the latter somehow doesn't seem so foolhardly in a league in which the best player on the floor so often commands a game's course. But I also know that there are steps to get to that point. So you have to appreciate it. Because we'll nearly certainly play it again next year.

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Already, the back-and-forth is underway. Countered Golden State acting coach Mike Brown, when asked about it Thursday: "That's his opinion".

The Warriors have a star-studded roster led by two former league MVPs in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant and a team that enters Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday having only lost one game since March 11.

Dating to the regular season, the Warriors have won 27 of their last 28. I respect how Hornets owner Jordan steers clear of the subject.

"Same thing was true with the Bowie-Olajuwon-Jordan draft, and that was years before that", said former NBA Commissioner David Stern, recalling more of Portland's painful past, when the Blazers took oft-injured center Sam Bowie at No. 2 in between Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan in 1984.

One caveat, because adding those players would make the Celtics undeniably better: Their win shares this postseason could be skewed because they suffered some completely lopsided losses when they dropped games.

"I've twisted my ankle so many times that plays like that, you have two choices, either you can sit there and kind of wallow in the sorrow of you twisting your ankle or capture the moment", Irving said. They're going to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically.

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Jordan won six championships in six NBA Finals appearances, while James is going for his fourth.

For Durant, this trip ends a five-year wait. After falling in the first round of the playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder are sent fishin'.

Obstacles different even than the Warriors, who await the victor of the Eastern Conference Final.

Even if the NBA's top two teams have steamrolled their way right to the place everybody figured they'd be when the season started all those months ago.

"We're definitely disappointed. I feel like if we weren't, there would be a problem", he said.

"Eastern Conference finals, that's the biggest stage I've ever been on", Thomas said at the team's practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. "Since my first year I've grown so much and I'm proud of myself in that area as well, but I've got a long ways to go".

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"I think what it has to do with, it has to do with the fact he's got a nice, long, fat contract with the Cavs and he realizes that he can finally afford to pay me the money that he owes me for the shooting game back in 2000 or whenever it was", Brown said with a grin.

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