LeBron's Finals challenge may be too tall an order, say pundits

Rockets' Paul out for tonight's Game 7 against Warriors

He will not be able to stop him, but his energy will have an effect on James. They handed the Boston Celtics their first loss at home in the NBA Playoffs.

The Cavs finished their series Sunday at Boston, so James spent a relaxing Memorial Day Monday with family having a barbecue.

But just because these two teams have met the past three years, that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about heading into this series. "It's nearly a day to prepare this time", he said. "I've seen him play some great games, but collectively his playoffs have been truly remarkable". "I learned that from when I first picked up a basketball and played organized basketball at age nine". I don't blame them. "It's a new team over there, so the other guys, we've got to lock in on their tendencies". Our main focus and our main objective is to win a championship, so we can't worry about what the outside guys are saying and who's being picked.

LeBron James and the Cavaliers are being given little — or no — chance of winning their fourth straight NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who have been installed by Las Vegas bookmakers as the heaviest favorites in the past 16 years.

The NBA had its most-watched conference finals since 2012, as both teams had to rally from 3-2 deficits to win Game 7s on the road.

For the fourth straight season, the Cavs and Warriors have advanced to the best-of-seven series to decide the National Basketball Association championship.

Without him, the Warriors struggled to find a usable fifth player and barely survived Houston - and then only thanks to some individual brilliance by their stars, as well as the Rockets missing a stunning 27 three-pointers in a row, and 29 of their final 30.

It is almost everyone outside of Cleveland choosing the Warriors over the Cavs.

But the other six figures-we're not including Okaro White, who hasn't logged a minute since November 6, when he was still a member of the Miami Heat-provide enough variance that the convergence of the right factors could at least even the competition a bit. This is not their first time being an underdog against the Warriors, and in 2016 the Cavs accomplished the possible.

These storied franchises have had 11 meetings in the Finals. The city erupted into celebration and broke a sports curse that seemed unbreakable.

"I'm glad we're going back", Warriors forward Kevin Durant said. After that, Durant and the Warriors have created plenty of parity for the league and avenged their loss to the Cavs the following season. This season was no cakewalk for them, either. The Warriors will be challenged and may feel the pressure of a Cavs team that has nothing to lose.

"This is for you, Cleveland", James screamed after the Game 7 victory in Oakland gave Cleveland its first major professional sports title since the Browns on December 27, 1964, beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, 27-0, in the National Football League championship game.

With the NBA Finals getting ready to soon tip off, the conversation will be how the Warriors will squash the Cavs.

This year, like every year, is Cleveland against the world and this year may end with another Championship parade.

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