Warriors forward Andre Iguodala to miss Game 1 of NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green celebrate with teammates after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Monday

In 2014, after losing to the Spurs in the Finals, James returned home to Cleveland and immediately led the Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals, where the team, decimated by injuries, lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors.

That leaves the Rockets with only one option: a sign-and-trade.

Analyst Jeff Van Gundy wasn't on the list but shared his thoughts with reporters during a conference call. "Now I have got to get into the postseason'".

Two decades have passed since an NBA Finals has been played in Utah, but Jazz fans still have a reason to be engaged in this year's championship. Then they get on with the business of sitting by the phone hoping LeBron wants to continue that relationship. Cleveland needs "to be lights-out from three-point line to have a chance to win a game". In terms of matchups, the Warriors are clearly the better team at nearly every position and they have the benefit of home-court advantage.

LeBron James during NBA Finals Media Day at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Warriors won't be overwhelmed by the moment and discombobulated on the road like the Celtics were. "So, KD (Kevin Durant), Draymond (Green), Klay (Thompson), Shaun Livingston, they'll all see time on him".

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.

The Rockets made key offseason additions, including acquiring a future Hall of Fame point guard in Chris Paul to play next to the likely MVP, James Harden. An afterthought much of the season, Thompson rejoined the Cleveland rotation in the playoffs and has provided the Cavaliers with 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

James credited Warriors' coach Steve Kerr for keeping a team with so many superstars so harmonious. "It's as simple as that".

"It's been exciting that we got the opportunity to go through that, and also get out of it and being in The Finals again", Durant said after the Game 7 with Houston. Gordon might be right.

Hey, while we're at it, maybe San Antonio would've knocked off the champs past year in the Western Conference finals if not for Zaza Pachulia sliding under Kawhi Leonard's bum ankle in Game 1.

Meanwhile, Irving ended up needing two knee surgeries this past spring and missed the playoffs with Boston.

Playing the "what if" game is a no-lose proposition that can extend to infinity. They have former MVPs in Curry and Durant. He has pushed through the personal tragedy of losing his youngest brother Kirk in March from an undisclosed illness but has kept his focus although the Cavaliers enter this series as a 12-point underdog for Game 1. Hill is excellent off the ball (a must for any point guard who plays with James, who should be running point on every play) and a competent defender.

One of the streakiest shooters in the league, Smith has had prolonged slumps. We will see how long they stick with it. "But there's a weight to that". We got our bumps throughout the season. Overconfidence will be the biggest challenge with so many people giving Cleveland no shot. ". You just get a great set of players on the court". He has started in all but one of Cleveland's playoff games this year but will have a tough assignment on his hands against Warriors star Stephen Curry.

James is no stranger to the NBA's biggest stage.

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