OAKLAND >> If you could script the first NBA Finals trilogy in history — which is what the Warriors and Cavaliers have now created — you’d probably want it to include the best player of the era right around the exact moment in time that he’s generating reasonable ‘best player ever…?’ buzz.
With LeBron James, this matchup has that. He’s a 32-year-old sporting giant, already etched in Michael Jordan-like lore — he literally just passed him for the most playoff points ever last game — but still, incredibly, in Year 14, still at the peak of his powers.
“Yes, (this is the best version of LeBron),” Mike Brown, his former coach, said.
But you wouldn’t want LeBron to be dragging around a dud of a team. You’d want him stocked with an arsenal of healthy weapons that’s suited for his style. With Kyrie Irving as his capable co-star and a pack of knockdown shooters, LeBron has just that. Many would argue that this is the best team he’s ever had around him.
So they must be massive favorites, right? Nope. They’re considerable underdogs because LeBron, the best player of his generation, is facing the most successful team of his generation.
Three years back, in Act 1, the Warriors capped off a 67-win season with a title over the wounded Cavaliers. In Act 2, the Cavaliers rose from an impossible 3-1 Finals hole — exactly as you’d expect a trilogy to script the climax of its second movie — to stun a Warriors team that was gleefully standing on…
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