One series one game even can change a lot of memories.
The 2016 playoffs were as ho-hum as it gets it even had more 20-point blowouts (24 to 18) than this years tepid postseason. But you dont remember Miami 106, Charlotte 73 in Game 7 of their first-round series. No, you remember LeBron James chase-down block and an epic Game 7 of the NBA Finals that made way for the perfect summer of Warriors blowing 3-1 lead jokes.
You forget all the blowouts that happened prior to that, ESPN/ABC play-by-play man Mike Breen said. It went to seven games and had the big comeback in Game 7. We were talking about the same thing [how boring the playoffs have been] at the same time last year.
The Cavaliers, who finished off the Celtics, 135-102, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night, and Warriors will have to save us again because despite ratings being up this season it has been quite boring.
Its hard because you want competitive games, said Breen, who will be calling his 12th NBA Finals, alongside Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. Injuries have been a part of why the games have been non-competitive. Some teams have lost some key players who could have made an enormous difference whether its Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard.
Theres nothing you could do about it. The thing is what weve lacked in close, thrilling finishes, weve had some unbelievable individual performances. And sometimes you can take as much enjoyment out of that, watching a guy just completely carve up a team and destroy them by 25 because hes putting up just an epic performance. Sometimes those are almost as fun as a buzzer beater.
The matchup begins Thursday night in Oakland, Calif. and is the first time two teams have met in three straight NBA Finals. Cavs-Warriors features a legitimate rivalry with Golden State star Draymond Green and James having several disagreements on and off the court.
Greens one-game suspension for a foul against James opened the door for the Cavaliers, who won Game 5 at Golden State without Green and went on to win the series.
The Warriors responded to the disappointment by signing Kevin Durant this offseason and went from a team that broke the regular season wins record to one threatening a postseason mark. If the Warriors could somehow sweep the Finals, they would be the first team to go through the playoffs undefeated after sweeping through the Blazers, Jazz and Spurs in the Western Conference.
They are the best offensive team Ive ever seen, Breen said. You have these two MVPs in Steph Curry and Durant and add [Klay] Thompson, so theres three of the best scorers in the game. You add in their defensive tenacity and commitment, and they are one of the best defensive teams in the league right now Theyre a team that doesnt have many weaknesses, if any at all. They are downright scary.
But the Cavaliers have James. The Cavaliers also have Kyrie Irving, whose Game 7 shot last year decided the championship, and Kevin Love with a year of Finals experience.
LeBron James and four other guys are going to give anybody some problems the way he has been playing, which is perhaps the best all-around basketball of his career, Breen said. He just wants to win titles. For him to win the one that perhaps meant the most to him last season and to come back just as hungry just shows you what he wants to do and what is No. 1 on his agenda He wants to win as many titles and he wants to be considered the greatest to ever play this game. And right now, hes on course for both of them.