Here’s a quick preview and the when, where and how you can watch Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 2017 NBA Finals makes its way to Cleveland for Game 3 on Wednesday night and this situation seems familiar…until it doesn’t.
A season ago, the Golden State Warriors left for the Buckeye State with a 2-0 lead after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by a combined 48 points in the first two games of the 2016 NBA Finals. Following Sunday night’s 132-113 win at Oracle Arena in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals, the Warriors are once again heading to Ohio with a 2-0 lead, only this time they’ve only won by a combined 41 points.
So in theory, the Cavs shouldn’t have a problem winning Game 3 as they did a year ago — they dominated the Warriors, 120-90, in the third game last year — due to the fact that they’ve technically played Golden State closer this time around, right? Not quite. The familiarity pretty much ends right there. Steph Curry is playing much better than he did in the 2016 Finals — he just put up a triple-double in Game 2 — and there’s something else in play here: Kevin Durant.
With all due respect to Harrison Barnes, he isn’t Kevin Durant and this isn’t the same team. This is a team that looks unbeatable — they’ve won 29 of their last 30 games and just set an NBA record with their 14th consecutive postseason win. Durant is leading the charge. Averaging 35.5 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in these NBA Finals, Durant is challenging LeBron James for the title of best player in the world and certainly has a lot of people believing that’s exactly what he is.
It’s not that LeBron isn’t playing well himself. After all, he is averaging a triple-double over the first two games but it just hasn’t been enough. Kevin Love is playing perhaps the best basketball of his life right now, averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds, obviously better than he did in the 2016 Finals, and Kyrie Irving has been solid as well. The problem is that the rest of the team hasn’t showed up yet and Golden State just has so many weapons.
Here’s a look at a few of those weapons with the projected starting lineups for Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals.
Golden State Warriors
C-Zaza Pachulia (5.0 points, 3.5 rebounds)
PF-Draymond Green (10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists)
SF-Kevin Durant (35.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists)
SG-Klay Thompson (14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists)
PG-Stephen Curry (30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 10.5 assists)
C-Tristan Thompson (4.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists)
PF-Kevin Love (21.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists)
SF-LeBron James (28.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 11.0 assists)
SG-J.R. Smith (1.5 points, 1.0 rebounds)
PG-Kyrie Irving (21.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists)