The NBA, desperate for a competitive Finals series in the 2017 playoffs, finally has one in the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Those two teams are meeting for the third consecutive year, however, and that is something the league needs to figure out how to change, else risk the demise of the game as fans of the other 30 teams in the league enter a state of resignation.
In this year’s playoffs, Golden State has not lost one game, and Cleveland lost only one when LeBron James had an off night.
From a revenue perspective, nothing could be worse. The best scenarios would have been for every best-of-seven series to go the distance, as that would have provided nine more games for both the Warriors and the Cavs, which would have increased broadcaster advertising takes, which, as any NBA player can tell you, directly translates to bigger salaries. Teams and their owners also reap the benefits in the form on more ticket and concession sales, not to mention the opportunity to put a gun to the head of broadcast rights holders.
Golden State and Cleveland are a combined 24 – 1 for the playoffs. The Warriors’ point differential for their 12 wins averaged 16.3 per game. On the Cavaliers’ side of the equation, they have been posting Star Wars scoring numbers, averaging over 120 points per game.
The Warriors have held opponents to less than 100 points per 100 possession during the post-season.
The two teams have until Thursday, June 7 (Friday, June 8 AEDT) to prepare for the final Finals series. The first two games will be played on Golden State’s home court, following by two games in Cleveland. If a game five is necessary, and the NBA desperately hopes that that is the case, the series will return to California. Game six would be back in Cleveland and Game seven would go back to Golden State.