Golden State Warriors: 5 keys to beating Cavaliers in 2018 NBA Finals

Jeff Van Gundy says the Golden State Warriors will beat the Cleveland Cavaliers

That's certainly what the National Basketball Association and its broadcast partners are hoping as the Goliath State Warriors and Cleveland LeBrons swipe right for a fourth consecutive best-of-seven-night stand.

Cleveland owned the seventh-best record in the Association on February 6 at 30-22 but was losers of 13 of its last 20 games at the time - a stretch which included six defeats in seven outings from January 8-23. However, James' contract has a player option following the 2018 season, meaning James can decide whether to play one more season in Cleveland or head to free agency.

Key Matchup: Golden State's Klay Thompson vs. Cleveland's J.R. Smith.

If he does return, Igoudala will improve Golden State's defense, but won't provide much offensively, and the Cavs would do well to force him into taking shots, especially from beyond the arc, as he shot just 28% on three-pointers this season. Even though the bench is a bit suspect, the team has accepted expectations that it will win every game. LeBron James willed his Cavaliers back to the big stage with another spectacular performance against Boston.

At 33 years old, James continues to defy father time, posting some of the best numbers of his career this season. Lue has to find a way to get Nance and his 20.0 postseason PER on the court.

"Splintered" is how Stephen Curry described what he feared could happen in the second quarter of Game 7 at Houston, with the Warriors pushed to the brink by the Rockets.

"You've just got to stay locked in".

Love was placed in the NBA's concussion protocol and the All-Star forward missed Sunday's series finale of the Eastern Conference finals. Kevin Durant won the award previous year and Iguodala won it in 2015, but before anyone gets too far down that road, it would be wise to remember that LeBron James won it in 2016 as his team upset the heavily-favored Warriors, who had gotten off to a 3-1 start in the series. Then they get on with the business of sitting by the phone hoping LeBron wants to continue that relationship. "Just trying to figure out how to move in general". I know one of you guys would love to be [that person].

For one thing, the games came within a 21-day span in the first half of the season, with Golden State winning both.

But it's fair to say that not everybody is happy to see the Cavs and Warriors doing battle again and the latest instalment of this rivalry has received mixed reviews. Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodola was a no-go for the last four games against Houston and was ruled out on Wednesday for Game 1.

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