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speaking Verfasst am: Beitrag 08:19 Do - Okt 11, 2018

The first one deserved a sequel Matt Judon Jersey , which Cleveland won in the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history to even things up with Golden State.

Then with Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry on one side and LeBron James leading the other, the Warriors and Cavaliers sent interest soaring as they rampaged toward the tiebreaker last season.

But the rubber match was a mismatch, and the Warriors are expected to win just as easily this time.

So as Round 4 of the record-setting rivalry begins Thursday night, has Warriors-Cavaliers become too much of a good thing?

”I don’t think so,” Golden State guard Klay Thompson said. ”I think the rest of the NBA has got to get better. It’s not our fault. I’m sure if you asked the fans of the Warriors and the Cavs around the world, whether it’s in the Bay Area or in Cleveland, I’m sure they’re happy with their team performance. The only people I hear saying that are fans from other teams, which is natural. I don’t blame them. But as long as our fan base is happy, that’s all that matters.”

It’s the first time in NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL history that the same teams are meeting four straight times in the championship round, and intrigue in the teams hasn’t waned yet. The NBA had its most-watched conference finals since 2012, as both teams had to rally from 3-2 deficits to win Game 7s on the road.

But if this series quickly becomes as lopsided as some fear – ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said he couldn’t remember a bigger gap between finals teams and said any game the Cavs win is a huge upset – many of those people who have tuned in the last few years might be looking for something else to watch by the time the series switches to Cleveland.

”If James and the Cavaliers win Game 1, you know, the interest is going to skyrocket because they are going to have done what very few – except for them maybe – think they can do, which is win at Golden State,” Van Gundy said. ”If they get blown out both games, it doesn’t matter what we say. People aren’t going to be as excited.”

The players won’t apologize for showing up again, or worry that it hurts the NBA.

”I mean, it may not be as suspenseful as a lot of people want it to be or as drama-filled,” Durant said, ”but that’s what you’ve got movies and music for.”

Some things to watch when the series begins at Oracle Arena:

BE LIKE MIKE

If the Warriors win, it would be their sixth NBA championship and tie them for third on the all-time list with the Chicago Bulls, who won all theirs with Michael Jordan. Then it would be a long way to go from there to catch Boston (17) or the Lakers (16).

MOVING ON UP

James could vault into second place on the NBA Finals’ career lists for points and assists. He has 1 Chukwuma Okorafor Color Rush Jersey ,247 points and needs 71 to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,317) and move behind only Jerry West (1,679). His 339 assists are 61 behind Bob Cousy (400). Magic Johnson had 584.

SCORING STARS

While matching up on the court, James and Durant could flip-flop on the career postseason scoring list. James currently has a slight edge, with his 28.83 points per game placing him fourth and slightly ahead of Durant, who has averaged 28.75. Durant has been even better in the NBA Finals, with his 32.9 points per game ranking last year’s finals MVP behind only Rick Barry (36.3) and Jordan (33.6) among players who have appeared in at least 10 games.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE

The much-maligned Cavaliers’ defense has shown up in the postseason, where Cleveland is allowing just 99.9 points per game, second among the 16 teams. The Cavs held Boston under 100 points in four of the final five games of the East finals. More impressively, Golden State kept high-scoring Houston under 100 in five straight games and is right behind Cleveland at 100.3 in the playoffs.

NEW-LOOK LOGO

Viewers will notice something new on the court during the series. The familiar NBA Finals logo has been replaced and the floor will now be marked with one that reads ”The Finals presented by YouTube TV.”



Chris Davis doesn’t blame the fans at Camden Yards for showering him with boos, especially when he’s walking back to the dugout after another strikeout.

The Orioles slugger is enduring a nightmare season. Although his power numbers have improved slightly since a recently mandated layoff, Davis is batting .156 with seven homers, 24 RBIs and 99 strikeouts at the midpoint of the season.

Not exactly what the Orioles were expecting when they signed the left-handed hitting first baseman to a guaranteed seven-year, $161 million contract in January 2016.

At the time of the deal, Davis averaged 42 home runs and 109 RBIs over the previous three seasons and was coming off a year in which he hit .262 with 47 homers and 117 RBIs.

Since then, his production has dipped annually. His 2017 numbers – .215, 26 and 61 – were downright prolific compared to this year.

Thus, the jeers from the home fans, who have grown weary of watching the struggles of the highest-paid player on the worst team in the big leagues.

”I understand their frustration,” Davis said. ”I know exactly what I’m capable of and what I’ve done in the past. I know that the standard is high and I haven’t been playing that well. But I have to move forward and continue to try to find a way to still have an impact on this season.”

It’s probably too late for his bat to make a difference. His most significant influence on the team, unfortunately, is that his sizable contract makes it that much more difficult for Baltimore to pay big bucks to several of its pending free agents, most notably Manny Machado.

The Orioles and Davis appear destined to be together through the 2022 season, so both sides must make the best of it. That’s why Davis was given an eight-game hiatus in June to get his swing down and his head right. Up to that point Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , he had tried just about everything else.

”For me, it was exhausting,” Davis said. ”My solution to a lot of my problems in baseball has always been to work. I felt as long as I was working, as long as I was trying, that I would figure it out. This is the first time in my career when I was kind of at a point where I didn’t know what else to do.”

So he went to the sideline, working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, a left-handed batter who hit 50 homers for the Orioles in 1996.

Upon his return, on June 26 in Atlanta, Davis homered and drove in two runs. Over the past 10 games, he’s hitting .158 with two doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and 13 strikeouts.

”His run production is a lot better, his at-bats have been better,” manager Buck Showalter insisted. ”They may say comparatively speaking, but if Chris continues at this rate, if you put it over 160 games it’s pretty good.”

Davis has tried just about everything else in an effort to get back into the groove, with the breakaway from the game coming as a last resort.

”I appreciate them giving me the chance to step back, gather myself and regroup,” he said.

Showalter and the organization can only hope for positive, lasting results.

”Chris has been a good friend of mine,” the manager said. ”He’s got a lot of support from the coaches and his teammates.”

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