Richard Jefferson Says Warriors Lacked Composure When They Lost 2016 NBA Finals

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Richard Jefferson Says Warriors Lacked Composure When They Lost 2016 NBA Finals

A year before Kyrie's shot secured the title for Cleveland, Steph did something similar for Golden State.

Curry and Durant are arguably the two best scorers in the National Basketball Association, but they offset each other in regular-season MVP discussions and may again do that in the Finals.

With the Warriors playing at such a high level and with the talent they have, it is hard to give the Cavs a chance. But you've got to enjoy everything, man. Bowman recalled with a grin. In the climatic Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, the score was tied at 89 with less than a minute to go. It's really that simple. Beating the Cavs 126-91 on January 16, the Warriors held LeBron James to just 20 points in 35 minutes.

Defence has been the question for the Cavaliers all season. Can't be anxious about a few bad shooting games or the percentages when you went 12-0.

Perhaps predictably, there's much less volatility in the ticket market in Cleveland for games 3, 4 and (if necessary) 6.

The Cavs now have been the best offensive team we've ever seen in the playoffs with an off-the-charts 122.7 offensive rating, and an impressive 14.3 net rating. With Anderson and Durant both on the court, the Warriors outscored the Spurs by 18.6 points per 100 possessions in this year's Western Conference finals.

"A lot of sites out there that you've probably heard of, they sell tickets and advertise fan protect guarantees, but there's only one site that guarantees legitimate tickets, and that's Warriors.com", said Schneider.

Let's get back to those numbers. Now they are turning their attention to the Warriors for Game 1. But James and his Cleveland Cavaliers are listed as NBA Finals underdogs for the third straight year at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com thanks to the Warriors starting the NBA playoffs 12-0. Because of all this, Game One will be as hyped as any Game One since, well, last year's Game One.

In the real world, the Cavs completed an epic comeback a year ago to stun the Warriors and claim the NBA Finals title. Golden State shot 44 per cent against the Cavs in the 2015 Finals, 43 per cent last season.

Except those Warriors aren't these Warriors. James has been even better, putting up 32.5 points on almost 57 percent shooting, and adding 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. And the difference, is Kevin Durant. That's at least five more after this season with a core of Stephen Curry, 29; Kevin Durant, 29 before next season; Klay Thompson, 27, and Draymond Green, 27. Now with Durant in that mix in what essentially was Barnes' spot, the Warriors have found different dimensions both offensively and defensively. He was his traditional sharpshooting self during the regular season, but the playoffs have not been as kind to him. There's no way Durant will get held to those sort of numbers.

It appears increasingly unlikely that Steve Kerr will be on the Warriors' bench for the NBA Finals, which raises an important question: Could Kerr's chronic pain ultimately force him to retire from coaching?

The four-time scoring champion is the biggest addition to a team favored to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals starting Thursday in Oakland, and he is not about to change anything in his approach.

For Golden State, the key is making sure Green - who was suspended for the momentum-turning Game 5 defeat in 2016 - stays on task. The total has gone over in 15 of the Cavaliers' last 21 games. They're 12-0 in the playoffs.

Now, Curry is fully healthy and the Warriors earned plenty of rest.

And just as a move paid championship dividends for James after a prior finals loss, it could do the same in June for Durant.

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