Cavs' Kevin Love: We're defending champs, not Finals underdogs

  • Cavs' Kevin Love: We're defending champs, not Finals underdogs

Cavs' Kevin Love: We're defending champs, not Finals underdogs

Cleveland Cavaliers, fuelled by another milestone night for LeBron James, powered into a third straight NBA Finals meeting with Golden State Warriors with a dominant 135-102 win over the Celtics here on Thursday.

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) - Vegas is betting against them and the bookies are hardly alone.

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (7) lands on Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) during the second half of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, on Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Boston. For him and the Cavs, it's merely motivation to fuel them as they enter the NBA Finals.

"I'm just proud of the work we've put in from the beginning of the season", Durant said following the sweep of the Spurs. "We're trying to repeat, which is so hard to do". "And so, I think maybe there's just a lack of appreciation for greatness". We're not using that as an excuse. It's tough for me to say that is the case.

Golden State Warriors await the Cavaliers in the Finals for the third year in a row.

Love complimented Green's competitiveness and aimed a verbal volley at Northern California.

"Well, I think collectively you take away what elite looks like, because I think we saw it first hand, especially in these home games", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. Golden State's bench has changed over the last three years, but the constants of its second unit have always been those two.

Thomas, who averaged 28.9 points per game during the regular season and 23.3 during the postseason, scored 19 total points in the first two games against Cleveland. The 2016 champions versus the 2015 champions.

James had overtaken Michael Jordan as the NBA's all-time leading playoff scorer on a deep three-pointer late in the third quarter.

As for this series, James feels both teams have improved from last season.

The odds were up to Warriors -330 /Cavs 250 on Thursday afternoon.

"Want the Warriors?" he said.

Much more of that sort of that will likely follow over the next week, filling time before Golden State plays host to Game 1. We're really waiting on the swelling to go down to see what the No. 1 option is.

"The plan is to play until 40, and they know that", Thomas said. "And they've added an unbelievable player in Kevin Durant this year". Even Danny [Ainge] and those guys say that, so that says a lot about who they are as people.

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, who made headlines earlier this week with his comments regarding the Warriors' offense, also has not begun his preparation. The Warriors have the No. 1 defensive efficiency at 99.1 points allowed per 100 possessions; the Cavs are No. 3 at 104.6.

Thomas told reporters Friday that he must wait until the swelling subsides in his hip before determining his rehabilitation plan. Same for Michael Jordan and Karl Malone or Jerry West and Bill Russell. "So it makes it even more risky when you equip that talent, that skill with those guys".

This is sure to be an unforgettable NBA Finals.