N.B.A. Finals Game 1: Cavs vs. Warriors Updates and Analysis

N.B.A. Finals Game 1: Cavs vs. Warriors Updates and Analysis
N.B.A. Finals Game 1: Cavs vs. Warriors Updates and Analysis

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers square off tonight in an unprecedented fourth straight N.B.A. finals. Not only have no N.B.A. teams ever accomplished such a feat, but neither has a pair of teams in any of the other major American sports leagues. Stay here for live updates and analysis from Oakland:

How to watch: Game 1 is on ABC, and will be available for streaming from ABC and WatchESPN.

Top Story Lines for Game 1

• The Warriors have won two of the past three N.B.A. championships, and are heavily favored to win for a third time in the Coach Steve Kerr era, largely as a result of a talent disparity in which LeBron James has struggled to find reliable second and third options while Golden State has a starting lineup with four All-Stars.

• Injuries could play a factor on both sides, with Andre Iguodala of the Warriors and Kevin Love of the Cavaliers being closely watched. Iguodala is out for Game 1, and possibly beyond, with a bone bruise in his left leg. Without him, the Warriors struggled to find consistency on both offense and defense in the conference finals. Love, on the other hand, has been cleared of the N.B.A.’s concussion protocol, and is expected to be available for Game 1, but it is not yet clear at what level he will be able to contribute.

• The Warriors have excelled in the third quarter in recent seasons, but that concept has reached a fever pitch in this postseason. It was huge third quarters in Games 6 and 7 that shot them past the Houston Rockets and into the finals, and there are times where it seems Golden State only truly concentrates on playing its best basketball just after halftime. It is a tendency that Cleveland will need to prepare for in some way.

• James averaged a triple-double in the finals last year, but he is not the only player in this series who can stuff a stat sheet. Draymond Green is leading the Warriors for the playoffs in rebounds (11.6 a game), assists (8.1), steals (1.9) and blocks (1.5).

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