Following their thrilling comeback in the conference finals, the Golden State Warriors will once again face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday at Oracle Arena after the Warriors‘ Game 7 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, capping their comeback after falling behind 3-1.
Golden State handled the Cavaliers in six games in last year’s NBA Finals, but it would be inaccurate to call this a true rematch. While the names on the front of the jerseys will be the same, Cleveland will be at full strength this time around. Kevin Love didn’t play in last year’s Finals with a shoulder injury, and Kyrie Irving played in Game 1 before suffering a knee injury.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a six-game series win against the Toronto Raptors. The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 106.9 points on 47.5 percent shooting and allowing 94.3 points on 45.1 percent shooting. LeBron James is averaging 24.6 points and seven assists while Kevin Love is averaging 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. Kyrie Irving is dishing 5.1 assists and Tristan Thompson is grabbing 8.4 rebounds. The Cleveland Cavaliers are shooting 43.4 percent from beyond the arc and 72.5 percent from the free throw line. The Cavaliers are allowing 34 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43 rebounds per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers have won eight of their last 12 road games.
The Golden State Warriors are coming off a seven game series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Golden State Warriors are averaging 110.9 points on 46.4 percent shooting and allowing 104.5 points on 41.8 percent shooting. Klay Thompson is averaging 26.2 points and 3.9 rebounds while Stephen Curry is averaging 26.7 points and 6.1 assists. Draymond Green is grabbing 9.8 rebounds and Shaun Livingston is dishing 3.5 assists. The Golden State Warriors are shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc and 73.4 percent from the free throw line. The Warriors are allowing 34.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.6 rebounds per game. The Golden State Warriors have won 20 of their last 23 home games.
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GAME 1 PROJECTED LINEUPS (with playoff averages)
Warriors starters: PG Stephen Curry (26.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds, 33.5 minutes), SG Klay Thompson (26.2 points, 35.4 minutes), SF Andre Iguodala (8.8 points, 31.1 minutes), PF Draymond Green (15.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.1 blocks, 37.6 minutes), C Andrew Bogut (5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 17.9 minutes).
Warriors key reserves: SF Harrison Barnes (8.9 points, 30.6 minutes), PG Shaun Livingston (8.1 points, 21.6 minutes), C Festus Ezeli (4.9 points, 8.9 minutes), C Marreese Speights (7.1 points, 9.9 minutes), SG Leandro Barbosa (4.7 points, 10.4 minutes), PF Anderson Varejao (1.2 points, 4.7 minutes).
Cavaliers starters: PG Kyrie Irving (24.3 points, 5.1 assists, 35.8 minutes), SG J.R. Smith (12.0 points, 33.5 minutes), SF LeBron James (24.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.2 steals, 37.9 minutes), PF Kevin Love (17.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 32.5 minutes), C Tristan Thompson (4.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 28.3 minutes).
Cavaliers key reserves: SG Iman Shumpert (3.5 points, 17.1 minutes), PF Channing Frye (8.6 points, 15.7 minutes), SF Richard Jefferson (5.3 points, 15.2 minutes), PG Matthew Dellavedova (4.4 points, 13.9 minutes), C Timofey Mozgov (1.0 points, 6.3 minutes).
|1||Thur., June 2||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||9 p.m.||ABC|
|2||Sun., June 5||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||8 p.m.||ABC|
|3||Wed., June 8||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||9 p.m.||ABC|
|4||Fri., June 10||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||9 p.m.||ABC|
|5*||Mon., June 13||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||9 p.m.||ABC|
|6*||Thur., June 16||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||9 p.m.||ABC|
|7*||Sun., June 19||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||8 p.m.||ABC|
|2016 NBA Finals Schedule|
NBA.com; *if necessary
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