We now know the two teams who will be taking part in the NBA Finals this season as the Golden State Warriors overcame the Houston Rockets by a score of 104-90. This came as no surprise, with the Warriors eventually clinching the series with a 4-1 win, and they will be gearing up to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who triumphed over the Atlanta Hawks by a 4-0 margin in their Conference Final.
This is the first time that the Warriors will have made it to the NBA Finals in 40 years but there is a good deal of confidence in the team that this is their year. Stephen Curry grabbed 26 points and 8 rebounds in the game while Harrison Barnes offered up 24 points. The Warriors started slowly, and there was a slightly nervous finish, but in the middle they were more than good enough and ultimately this is what decided the game.
James Harden had a bad night
Dwight Howard offered up 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets but MVP runner-up James Harden didn’t enjoy his night. His total of 13 turnovers was a playoff record, and he was only able to offer up 14 points. You could sense that Harden was trying to do too much to spur his team on and this actually led to him being less than his usual self on court.
Klay Thompson will need to prove his fitness
Although there is a week to go until the NBA Finals begin, there are some concerns about the fitness of Klay Thompson. After the game, he started to develop concussion-like symptoms and he will need to pass the concussion protocol test used by the NBA before he will be allowed to play in the Finals. Thompson was injured with a knee to the head in the fourth quarter and while he displayed no concussion symptoms at this point, he returned to the bench but then made his way back to the locker room to received stitches to his ear. It was at this point that he started to exhibit these symptoms.
The NBA Concussion Protocol says;
Once a player is diagnosed with a concussion he is then held out of all activity until he is symptom-free at rest and until he has no appreciable difference from his baseline neurological exam and his baseline score on the computerized cognitive assessment test. The concussed player may not return to participation until he is asymptomatic at rest and has successfully completed the NBA concussion return-to-participation exertion protocol.
Thompson will need to carry out a number of activities including using a stationary bike, jogging, agility work, non-contact team drills and he must show no signs or symptoms of concussion after each activity.
It is easy to see that the Final will boil down to LeBron James and Stephen Curry. The four time NBA MVP up against the current MVP, and there will be no shortage of hype or excitement in this game. It also showcases the rise of two teams who have been loved by their fans but often ignored by the rest of the basketball loving country. The return of LeBron has obviously been the catalyst for the Cavs good season but the Warriors have been building towards this level of play for a couple of years, even if Curry has found a whole new level to play at.
The Warriors and the Cavaliers have split the games they have played this season, with the home team triumphing in both of the games. The Warriors won 112-94 back in January when LeBron sat out the game in Oakland but in February, James delivered a season high of 42 points in the 110-99 Cavs win in Cleveland.
The schedule for the 2015 NBA Finals runs as follows:
- Game 1: Thursday June 4, Cleveland at Golden State
- Game 2: Sunday June 7, Cleveland at Golden State
- Game 3: Tuesday June 9, Golden State at Cleveland
- Game 4: Thursday June 11, Golden State at Cleveland
- Game 5: Sunday June 14, Cleveland at Golden State (if required)
- Game 6: Tuesday June 16, Golden State at Cleveland (if required)
- Game 7: Friday June 19, Cleveland at Golden State (if required)