Cavaliers underdogs again as Warriors go for repeat

Wed Jun 1, 2016 2:48pm EDT
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By Tim Wharnsby

(Reuters) - LeBron James and Cleveland get a chance for revenge against the Stephen Curry-led Golden State in the NBA Finals starting on Thursday, but the underdog Cavaliers have the misfortune to face a Warriors team seemingly peaking again at the right time.

Had they met while Curry was nursing an injury several weeks ago, the Cavaliers might have started as favorites for the best-of-seven series but instead they will be big betting underdogs against a rejuvenated and largely healthy Warriors line-up.

But at least it will be a fair fight this year.

The Cavs were not quite a one-man team in last year's championship series, but without two of their "Big Three" in injured forward Kevin Love and guard Kyrie Irving, they did well in some respects to take the series to six games.

With Love and Irving healthy this time around, many basketball fans are salivating at the prospect of a classic series but the history of sport is replete with examples of events that promised much, only to fail to live up to expectations.

But on paper at least it does have the potential to be a compelling series as James, in his sixth consecutive NBA Finals (including four with the Miami Heat) tries to lift the Cavs to their first championship.

And the fact the Cavs are about a 2-1 underdog means nothing to James.

"Not my concern," he said Tuesday. "I don't get involved in all of that -- underdog, overdog, whatever the case may be. It's stupidity. We're better built to start the Finals than we were last year."   Continued...

May 27, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) scores a basket  during the third quarter of game six of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports