By Ryan Mayer
The Golden State Warriors face a familiar foe in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as they gear up for the NBA Finals starting on Thursday night. Last year, James watched as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to average 41 points 9.5 rebounds and 8 assists per game in the finals on the way to their first championship. Having seen the duo’s marksmanship in person, James told reporters yesterday that they may be the best shooters we’ve ever seen.
“They shoot the ball extremely well,” James said before the team left for California and Game 1 on Thursday. “Klay and Steph are probably the two greatest shooters that we’ve probably ever seen. Better offense beats great defense any day. So we have to be able to do other things to stop them, but it’s hard to contain them.”
James will have some help that he didn’t have last season as he attempts to stop the Warriors’ historic season. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love enter the Finals healthy this year. Love missed all of last year’s Finals after separating his shoulder in the Cavs first round series against the Celtics, while Irving played in Game 1 before missing the rest of the series with a broken kneecap.
In addition, the Cavs are a much better three-point shooting team this post-season, entering the Finals shooting 43 percent from deep in the previous three rounds. Similarly, the Warriors have hit 40 percent of their tries from beyond the arc. Game 1 is set for a 6 p.m. tip Thursday night on ABC.