Title-starved Cavs, Warriors set for mouthwatering Finals

Tue Jun 2, 2015 4:07pm EDT
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By Jahmal Corner

(Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will both be trying to deliver a championship to their title-starved fans when the NBA Finals open this week with a mouthwatering matchup between two of the game's best players.

While the Warriors last won a title for the city of Oakland in 1975, the city of Cleveland has not celebrated a championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.

Both the Warriors and Cavaliers will be leaning on their respective most valuable players to restore glory, and though Stephen Curry took home the league's top player award this year LeBron James still wears the unofficial crown.

What four-time MVP James has accomplished with this season's Cavaliers team is one of his greatest feats and has returned him to the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year, a feat not accomplished since 1966.

With his key sidekicks either sidelined or hobbled, James has averaged 27.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 8.3 assists during the post-season.

Cleveland swept Atlanta in four games to book their first trip to the Finals since 2007 when James was in the midst of his first Cleveland tour before leaving for Miami and returning home this season.

Golden State's 40-year wait to return to the Finals has come at a physical price. Curry, averaging 29.2 points during the postseason, took a violent fall in the Western Conference final and has not appeared quite the same since.

Meanwhile, backcourt mate Klay Thompson sustained a concussion in the team's series-clinching win over Houston last week but returned to practice on Monday and expects to be ready for the Finals.   Continued...

LeBron James  in Miami, Florida June 20, 2013.   REUTERS/Mike Segar