NBA Finals Guide – Make It Seem Like You’ve Been the Best Cavs Fan or Best Warriors Fan All Along
June is almost here, so that means it’s the ultimate part of the pro basketball season. (We know playing in the summer doesn’t make sense for an indoor sport, but that’s the way the NBA rolls.) If you haven’t really paid attention to the NBA all season, but you want to make it seem as though you have, use our NBA Finals guide. After reading it, you’ll fool everyone into thinking you’re the best Cavs fan or best Warriors fan around!
2017 NBA Finals: How We Got Here
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference playoffs, while the Golden State Warriors won the Western Conference playoffs. Both teams have shown complete dominance over their conference foes.
Golden State finished the 2017 regular season with a 67-15 record, easily the best in the NBA. The Warriors then cruised through the playoffs, sweeping Portland, Utah, and San Antonio for a 12-0 playoff record. Golden State is the first team to enter the NBA Finals with a 12-0 playoff record.
The Cavaliers just missed matching Golden State. Cleveland swept Indiana and Toronto, before defeating Boston 4-games-to-1 for a 12-1 postseason mark. Cleveland had a 51-31 record during the regular season, finishing second in the Eastern Conference to Boston by two games.
In modern NBA history, only two teams have managed to go through all of the rounds of the playoffs with just one loss. The 2001 Los Angeles Lakers went 15-1 en route to the title, and the 1983 NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers recorded a 12-1 record. The team many consider to be the best in NBA history — the Michael Jordan-led 1996 Chicago Bulls, who won 72 regular season games — finished 15-3 in the playoffs en route to the title.
To have two teams with a combined 24-1 playoff record meeting in the 2017 NBA Finals just shows the dominance of these two teams over the rest of the league … and the almost inevitability since the season started in October that the Cavaliers and Warriors would meet for the title.
Info for the Best Cavs Fans
Long-time fans of Cleveland sports teams may be forgiven if they’re still celebrating last year’s NBA championship, more so than they’re ready for the 2017 NBA Finals. It was the first major professional sports title for the city of Cleveland since 1964. (Plus, Cleveland fans have had to suffer through the follies of the Browns, so it felt like a lot longer than 52 years.)
Although LeBron James is the most well-known Cavaliers player — and the most well-known active player on the planet — he’s not doing it all alone. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love both score more than 15 points per game. Irving had 42 points in Game 4 against Boston.
Five Fun Facts About Cleveland:
Here are five bits of knowledge you can use to fool people into thinking you’ve been a Cavaliers fanatic for years:
- James’ 2017 salary is $30.96 million.
- When Cleveland was granted an NBA expansion franchise in 1970, it was nearly nicknamed the Foresters, before settling on Cavaliers.
- James has won three NBA titles — two with Miami and one with Cleveland. After last season’s title, most Cavs fans have forgiven him for leaving Cleveland as a free agent in 2010 to go to Miami before returning to Cleveland.
- Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue took over in the middle of the 2016 season, and Cleveland is 28-6 in playoff games under him with an NBA title. That’s among the highest playoff winning percentages in NBA coaching history.
- Cleveland made James the #1 overall pick in the 2003 draft, making him the only modern multiple MVP winner taken first overall, unlike Steph Curry (#7 overall in 2009), Kobe Bryant (#13 overall in 1996), Steve Nash (#15 overall in 1996), Karl Malone (#15 overall in 1985), and Michael Jordan (#3 overall in 1984).
What the Best Cavs Fan Should Wear
If you want to look like a lifelong Cavs fan, the place to start is with a LeBron James #23 replica jersey. And then you can pretend that you’ve had the jersey since LeBron’s first tour in Cleveland … and that you didn’t participate in the #23 jersey burnings that occurred in 2010 after James’ ESPN-produced “The Decision,” in which he announced he was leaving Cleveland as a free agent.
Perhaps your workplace frowns on wearing a LeBron jersey to work. Not a problem: Just take your Cavs 2016 NBA Champions travel mug to work. And if your coworkers ask why they’ve never seen it before if you’re such a big fan, just say you were keeping it at home in storage for luck until the Cavaliers made the 2017 NBA Finals.
Of course, the best way to make it seem as though you’ve been a Cavs fan since the days of Craig Ehlo is to purchase a new t-shirt that has a weathered look and features the original Cavaliers logo.
Info for the Best Warriors Fans
After winning the 2015 NBA Finals, Golden State set the NBA regular season record for wins in 2016 with 73. Yet the heavily favored Warriors were upset in the 2016 NBA Finals by Cleveland, meaning Golden State fans are not going to take this 2017 NBA Finals appearance for granted.
The Golden State roster is filled with superstars, led by Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry, who was the NBA MVP in 2015 and 2016. Last summer, the Warriors added All-Star Kevin Durant, making them an even heavier favorite for the 2017 season. Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City to join the powerful Warriors made him a villain in Oklahoma City, but if he earns a championship ring with Golden State, we’re guessing he’ll live with villain status.
Five Fun Facts About Golden State:
Here are five bits of knowledge you can use to fool people into thinking you’ve been a Golden State fanatic for years:
- Steph Curry’s favorite TV show is Game of Thrones.
- Kevin Durant is making $26.5 million this season.
- Golden State is the only NBA team with two players whose fathers also played in the NBA — Curry’s father, Dell, played 17 years in the NBA and Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal, won two NBA titles with the Lakers.
- Andre Iguodala won the 2015 NBA Finals MVP for the Warriors … not Curry, as a lot of people assume.
- Golden State picked Curry seventh overall in the 2009 draft, after players like Hasheem Thabeet, Ricky Rubio, and Jonny Flynn. Oops.
What the Best Warriors Fan Should Wear
To look like you’ve been a Golden State fan for at least a few years, wearing a 2015 NBA Finals champion t-shirt will help. And by making it yellow, it’ll seem as though you fit in with the “Sea of Yellow” at Oracle Arena.
Having a replica Steph Curry jersey isn’t going to make it seem as though you were a Warriors fan before the team drafted Curry in the 2009 draft, but that’s okay. It’s a Steph jersey after all, and everyone loves Steph!
A vintage logo t-shirt can help you look like a long-time Golden State fan. The distressed “The City” t-shirt is a great option to wear to your Warriors-Cavs NBA Finals viewing parties.
We’ve Seen This Match Before
The Warriors and Cavaliers have played in the past two NBA Finals, splitting those meetings.
Cleveland shockingly overcame a 3-1 series deficit in 2016, winning Game 7 in Oakland, 93-89. The road team won three of the final four games in the 2016 NBA Finals. James scored 41, 41, and 27 points in the last three Cleveland wins.
Golden State had no such problems in the 2015 NBA Finals, defeating the Cavs, 4 games to 2. Cleveland actually led the series 2-1, but Golden State won the final three games, including winning twice in Cleveland.
Steph versus LeBron Round 3 should be a lot of fun!
More Steph and LeBron
If you want to show your fandom for either Steph or LeBron, we at Ben’s Bargains have collected some deals for you on their lines of shoes at the link.
If you want to relive the 2016 NBA Finals — or if just want to do a little homework to create a successful look as a long-time Cavs fan — try the 2016 NBA Finals DVD. (Highlights are also available on Amazon Video at the link.)
Warriors fans will appreciate the 2015 NBA Finals with this DVD … much more so than the 2016 NBA Finals. (Highlights are also available on Amazon Video at the link.)
NBA Finals Schedule
Thanks to our NBA Finals guide, now you’re ready to watch the NBA Finals! Here’s the TV schedule for the best-of seven game series. (In other words, the first team to win four games is NBA champion.)
- Game 1 – Thursday, June 1 – Cleveland at Golden State, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 2 – Sunday, June 4 – Cleveland at Golden State, 8 p.m., ABC
- Game 3 – Wednesday, June 7 – Golden State at Cleveland, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 4 – Friday, June 9 – Golden State at Cleveland, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 5* – Monday, June 12 – Cleveland at Golden State, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 6* – Thursday, June 15 – Golden State at Cleveland, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 7* – Sunday, June 18 – Cleveland at Golden State, 8 p.m., ABC