The NBA Finals are scheduled to start on June 4th, and have been scheduled as such for several months. When the Playoffs started in April, that seemed like it would be the perfect time to start the Finale to the 2014-2015 NBA season. 16 teams are all playing in best of seven series. As the number one seed Golden State Warriors took the court against the number two seeded Houston Rockets, fans were thrilled for the match up. Over in the Eastern Conference the number one seed Atlanta Hawks are battling the number two seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. Two match ups that on paper should be nothing short of epic. Yet here we sit with the potential of a nine day wait between the final round of the playoffs, and the NBA Finals, as they will not move the schedule.
Warriors superstar Steph Curry is the league’s MVP, and Rockets’ star, James Harden was the runner-up. Coming off an epic 3-1 deficit against the LA Clippers, the Rockets were flying high, and feeling the momentum. Not many in the media thought the Rockets would make it as far as they have. After the surprising comeback series victory over the Clippers, fans were ready for their first Finals appearance since the 1995 season.
The series began less than a week ago, and it appears to be all but over. The Warriors are up 3-0 in the series. Curry has been setting all kinds of records, including shooting for 64 three pointers already in the playoffs. After a close first two games in the series, in which the Warriors won by a combined margin of five points, the Warriors opened things up in game three. The Warriors handily defeated the Rockets 115-80. With a chance to close out the series on Monday night, the Warriors would have 10 days off before they take on the winners of the East in the Finals.
Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Atlanta Hawks are fighting like the underdog instead of the number one seed. The Cavs are without one of their biggest players, Kevin Love. Kyrie Irving has been injured and weak when he has played in recent games, before he just sat out games. None of that has slowed down the Cavs. Lebron James has taken command of his hometown team. Curry is not the only one breaking records. James has passed Michael Jordan for most playoff games with at least 30 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He currently sits at 53 games. James also tied Jerry West for fourth place for most playoff games with at least 30 points. Currently sitting at 74 games.
The Hawks were fighting for their lives in game three, and came out swinging. The Hawks jumped out to an early lead, and the game was close through out. The game went into overtime, but the Hawks ultimately fell to the Cavs 114-111. The Hawks have a chance on Tuesday night to keep things alive. If the Cavs close it out, they will get a much needed 9 day rest.
No team has ever overcame a 3-0 series deficit in the NBA Playoffs. Now with two teams hoping for a miracle, fans are most likely going to have to go over a week with no playoff action. If the Warriors and Cavs both finish with series sweeps, the long wait could be worth every minute. Reigning MVP “Chef” Curry and the “Splash Brothers,” taking on “The best player on the planet,” Lebron James, and Kyrie Irving. JR Smith may have set a Cavs record in game one, shooting eight 3 point shots, but Curry lives off the three ball.
The Warriors will look to win their first NBA title since 1975. The Cavs will be looking to win their first title in Franchise history. James, if the Cavs close out, will be making his fifth straight NBA Finals appearance. James made the last four with the Miami Heat, winning two titles.
Warriors versus Cavaliers is the series that most fans have been clamoring for all season. The thought of an epic showdown, hopefully going the full seven games would make the nine day wait all worth it. Fans could witness another epic clash, much like the Heat versus San Antonio Spurs from the 2012-2013 season. All this could happen come June 4, and not a day sooner says the NBA. Or the Rockets and Hawks could play spoiler to the party and give the sports world two of the most epic comebacks in the history of the NBA.
Commentary by Andy Lapic