Jalen Rose: Rockets, with a healthy Paul, would have toppled Warriors

Wednesday, 30 May, 2018

The Cavaliers only got one game off them in last year's finals, and that Cleveland team, with Kyrie Irving, was better than this year's version. Is it payback time for James and the Cavs? Per ESPN, the Warriors are a -1000 favorite in the series, while the Cavaliers are +650 underdogs. And whose heart isn't warmed by the Jeff Green story?

LeBron James, of course, is the biggest reason why Cleveland came back from a 3-2 series deficit. He has averaged 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game in the playoffs.

Curry concedes that, yes of course LeBron James is an wonderful player who carries much of the burden in Cleveland, but argues that his teammates deserve a bit of credit for helping him reach his eighth consecutive NBA Finals.

The Warriors, much like in Game 6, staged one of their trademark 3rd-quarter runs as the defending champions outscored the Rockets, 33-15, in the period.

For the first time since 1979, both the Western and Eastern Conference Finals went to game seven in the same year.

James, a 14-time All-Star and four-time MVP, nearly single-handedly carried Cleveland to the Finals.

The Rockets were understandably emotional after losing just one game shy of the NBA Finals, with Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker in tears. He did it again this time in Cleveland as the Cavs have not missed the Finals since he returned in 2015.

And yet, somehow here they stand, again.

Young, an adidas athlete, has played in various YEEZYs, while Smith, a Nike athlete, has laced up in Virgil Abloh's "The Ten" both on- and off-court.

Love has struggled mightily against the Warriors on the NBA's biggest stage. He will have to find either more rest for James somehow, or other players will need to step up in the Finals. Yet another missed opportunity for Paul, who has never been to the NBA Finals in his long and storied career.

The Warriors had a little help from the Rockets who couldn't buy a 3-point basket. This guy had open-heart surgery a few years ago.

Last summer, would you have told the Rockets they would be at home for game seven against the Warriors, they would have immediately taken it. Despite a lackluster supporting cast, LeBron James is making an eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.

Regardless of your allegiance, it's a fairytale for Green to be in the Finals at all.

The Warriors appeared to have caught a break with another player.

Love averaged 24 points and 12.5 rebounds on 41.2 percent shooting in two regular-season games against the Warriors.

"We obviously know what LeBron's capable of", Curry said shortly after the Warriors' Game 7 win at Houston ended.

"We know we can make an 11-point lead evaporate with two minutes of good basketball", Klay Thompson said.