Is NBA finals a “fixed fight?”

 

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The National Basketball Association isn’t only about providing its fans around the world about the sport. However, the finals is also about making money. |Photo by NBA.com

So many things have been said about the National Basketball Association and how important it is to make sure the economic gain is not effected because of the entertainment it provides for its consumers. Obviously, there’s no doubt about the NBA being a business that generates a plethora of revenue and isn’t trying to lose any. However, is there a possibility the games may be rigged for money gain?

 

Was the league on the verge of allowing a possible sweep to happen in the 2017 finals, or has the Cleveland Cavaliers generated some money as an organization to save face for the NBA’s reputation?

During the post season, (playoffs and finals), as much as we focus on the actual games being played, it’s also about money. Big money. When it comes to accruing cash in the postseason, NBA teams profit off of it heavily. But talks have been on the table concerning how watered down the NBA has become, which makes winning easier for modern day teams.

This is a league-wide revenue sharing pool, built off of ticket sales. This money is used to award teams for hitting certain postseason benchmarks like best record, progressing through rounds, and of course, winning an NBA title. We’re already in the latter rounds of the postseason and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors remain in contention for the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the right to call themselves NBA champions.

 

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This year’s playoff pool is the largest in league history, surpassing last year’s of $14 million. |Photo Credit to NBA.com

The NBA will award a total of $15 million to the league’s top teams this year, officials told FOXBusiness.com. This year’s Playoff pool is the largest in league history, surpassing last year’s tally of $14 million.

The winning team, whether it be CAVS or Warriors, in this year’s NBA Finals will earn $2,656,422, to be split amongst its players, coaches and staff members. The losing team gets a consolation prize of $1,760,210

The Warriors have already secured a sizable chunk of the league’s playoff bonus money. Golden State has already locked up more than $1.7 million, thanks to its league-best 73-9 record ($432,632), conference-best record, and appearances in all three preliminary rounds of the NBA playoffs.

A win against Cleveland wouldn’t just give Stephen Curry and his teammates their second consecutive NBA championship  and it would push the team’s total postseason earnings above $4 million.

Personally, saying the NBA  is fixed is a 50-50 ordeal. I believe there are two teams competing for the same trophy, and one team with five guys paying as one will be the champions. Regardless, if the league is a business, there are still teams that play their hearts out to accomplish the goal, and that’s winning. There’s nothing fixed, it’s just the way of the game.

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Table Turns for CAVS, On to the Next

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The dynamic duo managed to put two stellar performances together to avoid being swept by the Golden State Warriors Thursday night. |Photo Credited to NBA.com

Well, the janitors won’t be using any push brooms but they can remain in the storage closet. There won’t be any sweeps happening in the 2017 NBA finals.

The celebrating after Game 4 was done by Cavaliers fans, not Golden State players, their families or anyone else dressed in blue and gold who came looking for a historic party.

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LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were Batman and Robin in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA finals. They came to the rescue for the Cleveland Cavaliers. |Photo Credited to Google.

They can save confetti, the champagne bottle popping, and boisterous chants for maybe another time because Batman and Robin showed up tonight in Cleveland’s favor.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving managed to execute an efficient game plan and record-breaking performance to defeat the Golden State Warriors 137-116 in Game 4 of the finals at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Besides, defending NBA champions just don’t get swept, period. It’s never that easy.

With the CAVS going into Game 4 down 3-0, James added yet another triple double that included 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. However, it was Uncle Drew that had a wake up call  and gave a stellar 40 point performance that helped the CAVS get over the edge. The CAVS set a new record in NBA history with 24 3-pointers during a finals game.

During the 2016 finals, the CAVS were in the same position against the Warriors and managed to come back and win the championship. Can that be the Cinderella story this year? This is the NBA where amazing happens, and what happened last year was nothing short of amazing.

After all, no team in the history of the NBA has ever been down 3-0 and came back to win the championship in Game 7. Obviously, this win has given the CAVS a confidence booster that there’s still hope for anything can happen.

The Warriors are no longer unbeaten in the playoffs, but James said they still have the CAVS where they want them.

“Listen, at the end of the day, we want to just try to put ourselves in position to play another game, and we did that tonight and hopefully we can do it Monday night where we can come back here,” James said.

He has won a road game in 29 consecutive series, another of his many NBA postseason records, but the challenge now is far greater than what the Cavs faced last year. Golden State will be at full strength this time, and while the Warriors have finally lost a game, they haven’t lost any confidence.

The Warriors had five players score in double figures, had 26 assists, and got 35 points from Kevin Durant, but it was not nearly enough on a night in which the team’s defense fell apart.

They were leading all playoff teams this year in defensive efficiency coming into the game, but had no answer for Kevin Love, James or Irving.

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LeBron James and Co. head to Oakland after they forced a Game 5 of the 2017 NBA finals Monday night against the Golden State Warriors. All in! |Photo Credited to Associated Press

Despite trying to save face for being stream rolled by the CAVS, you’d think at least some level of doubt has now entered the Warriors’ minds. Besides, it only takes one little snag for the whole thing to unravel. And maybe, just maybe, James and the CAVS have their foe right where they want them.

 

What Will Losing the NBA Finals Mean for LeBron James and His Legacy?

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No matter how successful LeBron James is, scrutiny comes with the territory. |Photo Credited to NBA.com

LeBron James is on the brink of losing again in the Finals, and what does it means for his legacy? You could make an argument that  James is the most scrutinized professional athlete of all time, along with, being the greatest in this present era of the NBA.

One of the most frustrating things about competition is living with the fact you cannot win every match, game, etc. There’s a famous phrase that says “you win some, you lose some but you live to fight another day.”

James is faced with possibly experiencing being swept for the first time in the NBA finals, and labeled as the worst “greatest player of all time” in his era.

James has been in the media spotlight since childhood. He entered the NBA as a first overall draft pick with a Nike contract before ever lacing up a pair of shoes as a professional basketball player. The CAVS drafted him to resurrect their dying franchise and eventually to bring a major championship to Cleveland, which happened last year during the 2016 NBA finals against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

But now, James is being scrutinized as the possible reason why the CAVS fell short in Game 3 against the Warriors.

Needless to say, the expectations of James have always been pretty high. Of course, his same ego predicted “not one, not two, not three…” championships with the Miami Heat before he failed in the NBA Finals with, essentially, the Eastern Conference All-Star roster behind him. But also, that same ego allows him to recognize himself as “King James” even though he didn’t get his first championship until he made his decision to join the Heat organization.

Here’s the bigger question: Do the 2017 Finals even matter for LeBron James? More accurately, do these Finals even matter to the way that we process the idea of LeBron James? Some thing will never change no matter how successful he’s been in this league.

The legacy of James won’t be effected by the CAVS not winning the 2017 NBA championship. Not winning would simply mean he would still possess all his accolades and breaking of records. By the way, every great player didn’t win every championship, let alone make it to the NBA finals. (i.e. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, etc.)

Whether you’re doing good or bad people will always something negative to say, so James just shakes the dusts and keeps it moving.

WHAT NOW? WHAT’S NEXT?

The Golden State Warriors has taken a 3-0 lead in the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. There are some major changes that must be made concerning the CAVS including starting line up fixtures, game plan, defensive assignments, and offensive conversions to limit Golden State. Take a look at the video reactions from the CAVScoaster twitter page.

 

Do or Die for LeBron James and CAVS

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LeBron James has been giving all he possibly can during the finals against Golden State Warriors. After a 118-113 loss Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena , the Golden State leads the CAVS 3-0. | Photo Credited to ESPN.com

You’d think that the defending NBA champs would be just as hungry to continue its legacy. However, the way King James praises Durant’s stellar performance during the first three games seems like he’s already given up hope for a possible repeat.

Last summer, things seemed a bit more manageable for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after being down 2-0 against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 NBA finals. Now, it’s do or die on the King’s court.

The 2017 finals between the CAVS and Warriors seems to be a different monster to handle with superstar Kevin Durant being a major factor for Golden State.

The Warriors have taken a 3-0 lead, in this championship series leaving Cleveland pretty much hopeless after a 118-113 loss Wednesday night on their home floor. The possibility of James and the CAVS winning four games straight, especially with the way the Warriors have played, is slim to none.

Following a missed 3-pointer by Kyle Korver, Durant collected the rebound and took care of things himself, dribbling to the other side of the court before simply pulling up in front of James for a 3-pointer that gave the Warriors a 114-113 lead with 45 seconds remaining.

Although James has had stellar performances since Game 1 of the NBA finals, it hasn’t been enough for one man to handle.

In order to beat the Warriors’ system, there needs to be five guys playing as one, but there have been some missing elements in the CAVS’ game plan, both offensively and defensively.

Without question, James makes no excuses why the CAVS haven’t been able to pull out a win. In fact, all he says is, “we’ve got to be better.”

However, he does make it known Durant has been the difference-maker in this series and has given the CAVS some problems in his attempt to contain him offensively.

So now, the question becomes do James and the CAVS pull away Friday night?

Game 4 will be the determining factor whether the Warriors will pop champagne bottles, or if James and the CAVS pull it together and win their first game of the championship series? Only time will tell.

 

Podcast: CAVS Look to Bounce Back at the Q Against Warriors. What’s Next?

The 2017 NBA Finals have brought out the best of the leagues great players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and others. But also, during the first two game in which the Golden State Warriors took a commanding 2-0 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers, this series has brought out the weakness of other players who have yet to step up to the plate, especially J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving, and more.

The CAVScoaster blog site has teamed up with the Won For All Sports blog site where Cleveland Cavaliers fans can receive their latest news, updates, and great conversation about the CAVS organization, players, trade talks, and much more.

This week, both blogging sites held a 30 minute podcast segment about the finals series thus far and discussed the importance of making the necessary adjustments to make this matchup that much more interesting.

https://m.soundcloud.com/user-466878706/won-for-all-podcast-e2-seeking-to-bounce-back-6-6-17

The Durantula Goes Wild

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After years of waiting, Kevin Durant has finally made his move and joined the Golden State Warriors for a chance to win his first NBA championship. The Warriors lead 2-0. |Photo Credited to NBA.com

Grandma would always tell us to watch out for snakes because of their ability to slither right into your life and then attack you, but in NBA basketball this isn’t a sneak attack. It’s the work of the “Durantula,” Kevin Durant.

During the 2017 NBA Finals,  there seems to be no answer for the Golden State Warriors’ showtime performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers thus far, with the Warriors up 2-0 in this series.

Through two games, Kevin Durant is the early favorite to win Finals Most Valuable Player. He leads the series in points and blocks, he leads the Warriors in rebounds, and his presence has strongly tilted the matchup in Golden State’s favor.

There’s been no hesitation to his game. On the contrary, Durant has dunked time and again, controlled the paint on defense, celebrated with chest pounds, and risen to the mental and physical challenges presented by LeBron James.

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The difference-maker the entire series of the 2017 NBA Finals has been Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. He’s looking to obtain his first NBA championship. |Photo Credited to ESPN.com

Yes, it is true. Conversations have been held about how stupid of a move it was for Durant to join an all-star team just to win an NBA championship. Even former fans of Durant before his decision ridiculed him for his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to become a Warrior.

It’s been said Durant needs Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and other players just to win.

There have also been conversations defending Durant’s decision by his mother on both First Take and Undisputed when he joined the Warriors, but she set the record straight.

However, Durant had shown in the first two games of this series what he’s capable of doing when the odds are against him as well as what he’s after.

Game 1: Golden State Warriors 113,  Cleveland Cavaliers 91

Kevin Durant: 38 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists

Game 2: Golden State Warriors 132,  Cleveland Cavaliers 113

Kevin Durant: 33 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists

Certainly, there is a hunger that goes deeper than what the CAVS currently have. Now, Golden State is headed to Northeast Ohio needing just two more, but yet don’t count on anybody considering this series close to done.

The Warriors squandered a 3-1 lead to the CAVS last year to miss a repeat. There’s absolutely no room for underestimating LeBron James and the CAVS’ ability to turn things around back at the Q, but the way Durant, Curry, and the Warriors are playing could solidify a different outcome.

Winning the 2017 championship for Durant would relieve a lot of pressure off of his shoulders, and he wouldn’t have to go down in history as that player who had all the talent in the world but could never put it together to win a ring. Hence, this is why he calls it the best decision ever.

Durant and the Warriors will travel to Cleveland in hopes to maintain that same momentum going into Game 3 Wednesday and Game 4 Friday both at 8 p.m. on James’ home turf. Let’s see how the Durantula responds to King James and the CAVS. After all, the CAVS are capable of great comeback power.