Four lessons the Houston Rockets taught us about the Golden State Warriors

The Cavaliers might be back in the NBA Finals, but there was a point where even LeBron James wasn't sure what direction Cleveland was going in.

Iguodala remains sidelined due to a left leg bone bruise that kept him out of the final four games of the Western Conference finals series win over Houston.

Hill contributed 16 points to arguably Sacramento's most impressive win of the season, a 110-106 triumph at Golden State in November; Clarkson burned the Warriors for 21 points two days later for the Lakers; and Hood bombed in 26 for Utah in his only meeting with Golden State this season.

There wasn't a lot of similarity in Cleveland's and Golden State's seasons, but their last few days have been mirror images of one another - both teams had to win Game 6s at home to fend off elimination, then had to go on the road and prevail in Game 7s to win their respective conference finals. Only six other National Basketball Association champions have been crowned via the broom, but Golden State seems poised to join that group.

The Golden State Warriors will continue to be without forward Andre Iguodala during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the team announced Wednesday.

James is arguably one of the best players to ever play the game. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP leads the defensive effort against James and is part of the Warriors' best lineup. I don't think the Cavaliers have a chance in this series, but no one is expecting them to be successful at all so the pressure is on the Warriors in this one.

The Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics in their own seven-game series to reach their fourth straight finals.

"I've tried to put this franchise at a level that is always seen in a positive light", James said.

"I know my role on my team", he said.

"We have an opportunity to play for a championship". It might require four games of around 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists - about what James is averaging in 18 games this postseason.

While reigning champions Golden State are widely expected to claim another title at a canter, they will undoubtedly be wary of an in-form James - who has carried a written-off Cavs team this far. "I think it's great", he said, a little deadpan. All three are some of the biggest names for some of the biggest sports apparel companies in the world, Nike (NKE - Free Report) for James and Durant, and Under Armour (UAA - Free Report) for Curry. We'll have to see but I'm all for bringing him back. They find a way to play well enough to keep the games in striking distance so James can will the Cavs across the finish line, and that will be the strategy again starting Thursday at Oracle Arena.

The Spurs won that series in five games.

When Nichols asked if James' relationship with Gilbert would affect his free-agency decision, James said, "We're going to see".

"You've just got to stay locked in". Despite not having the best records during the regular season, the Warriors and the Cavaliers still managed to rise to the top of their respective conferences in the playoffs.

"They've got four Hall-of-Famers on their team, in Klay, Dray, Steph and KD".

  • Rosalie Stanley