Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will be on Thursday night. Here is how to watch it online.
It all comes down to this. We’ve waited a year and it is finally here. That’s right, the third installment of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals is upon us! For the first time in the history of the NBA, the same two teams will meet in the NBA Finals three years in a row.
Back in 2015, the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games to win their first NBA Championship since 1975. Last year saw the Cavaliers win their first NBA title in existence by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to win on the road in Oakland in a must-win Game 7.
Game 1 will be on Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. With both NBA finalists well-rested, let’s take a look at what the starting five for each team could be.
For Cleveland, head coach Tyronn Lue has started the same five in all 13 games up to this point for the Cavaliers. Expect Kyrie Irving to start at point guard, J.R. Smith at shooting guard, LeBron James at small forward, Kevin Love at power forward and Tristan Thompson at center. With Cleveland shooting the ball very well from the perimeter in the NBA Playoffs, don’t expect Lue to tinker with his rotation in this best-of-seven series until he absolutely has to.
As for Golden State, it could be a little more difficult for interim head coach Mike Brown to figure out his first five as he fills in for Steve Kerr. Even though Golden State has completed three straight series sweeps to reach the 2017 NBA Finals, only three members of their starting five have played in all of their playoff games.
Expect point guard Stephen Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson and power forward Draymond Green to all be shoe-ins for the Warriors’ starting five in Game 1. The same thing can be said for small forward Kevin Durant, who has started 10 of the Warriors’ 12 playoff games.
As for the center position, we should expect Zaza Pachulia to get the nod over JaVale McGee for Game 1. Pachulia had started 10 of Golden State’s 12 playoff games, but missed two in the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs due to a heel injury. He should be good to go with over a week’s worth of rest for Game 1.