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By Lee Jenkins
May 28, 2017

The Spurs were the best defensive team in the NBA this season and the Warriors treated them like orange cones scattered on the practice court for mid-summer shooting drills. Granted, Kawhi Leonard missed the last three-and-a-half games, and the Cavaliers’ defensive effort often rises and falls with the stakes. But if San Antonio couldn't contain this version of Dubs, it’s hard to imagine the Cavs will. Perhaps Cleveland can win shootouts. The Cavaliers are almost as prolific as the Warriors, with all those stretchy snipers spaced around LeBron James, and they will need to be as comfortable at Oracle Arena as they were at TD Garden. If the Cavs can somehow swipe Game 1, Kevin Durant will come under a kind of pressure he’s never faced before. The only person who could relate is James, whose struggles in his first Finals with Miami snowballed so furiously that Dallas took the title. But Durant is operating with a much larger margin for error. He doesn’t need to be sensational. Neither does Steph Curry nor Klay Thompson nor Draymond Green. If they simply play well, Golden State wins. The dynamic is different for James, just as it was in ’11. He has to be superhuman.

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