Following Kyrie Irving’s domination performance Tuesday night to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics to take a 3-1 series lead, the wine and gold are just one win away from taking on the Golden State Warriors in The Finals for the third time in as many years. After the Warriors took care of business against the San Antonio Spurs, to clinch their spot in The Finals and go a perfect 12-0 through the West, Warriors owner Joe Lacob had something to say about the expected (and potential) matchup between his team and the Cavs for the third summer in a row.
He not only stated his team was the better of the two last summer, but that he wants to “prove it” this time around.
Joe Lacob said he wants Cleveland: "We were the better team but they did win. We need a chance to go in there and prove that."
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 23, 2017
In case you forgot, Cleveland, after trailing in the best-of-seven series 3-1, won the final three games of the series to bring Cleveland their first major sports championship since 1964. The Warriors may have been the better team early in the series, but the wine and gold were by far the best team when it mattered most down the stretch. Lacob seems to be a little too excited about his 2016 team.
The Cavs, who can clinch a spot in The Finals with a Game 5 victory over the Celtics in Boston Thursday night, have close to the same team as 2016, save for losing Matthew Dellavedova and adding sharpshooter Kyle Korver and reserve guard Deron Williams. The Warriors on the other hand, look much different. They not only lost some of their depth and two starters from last year’s team, but they also added one of the best players in the league in Kevin Durant. By himself, Durant can carry a team to greatness, add in the fact that he joined one of the two best teams in the NBA and it makes a major difference.
If (and when) the Cavaliers clinch their spot in The Finals, the winner of the series between Cleveland and Golden State won’t change anything about the 2016 season. One team is remarkably different and the other added one heck of a shooter. Then again, if he’s only worried about what happened in the past and not in the future, that’s on him. But remember, you can never take away The Block, The Shot, or the fact that 1.3 million people celebrated the Cavaliers’ championship during a parade through the streets of Cleveland.
Lacob saying this seems to be odd, especially considering there’s no way that his team can prove that they were the better team in 2016 after they have added Durant in 2017. Outside of this potentially being bulletin board material for the Cavs, the wine and gold can just keep everyone quiet out west not only by having defeated the Warriors in 2016, but taking down the juggernaut in 2017 as well.