Here we are again kids. The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors on Friday in what could be the final game of the 2017-2018 NBA season.
Everything is on the table tonight and if the Cavs lose, the Golden State Warriors will again clinch the 2018 championship title.
Like last year, we decided to supply you with a short little guide to help you impress your friends, family boss, co-workers, boyfriend or girlfriend–if you’ve operated in a “I don’t do basketball” phase for most of your life. If you need a little refresher on what’s been going on in the final stage of the NBA season for any of the above reasons, keep reading.
First things first
During the playoff season, the team who wins four games out of an assigned seven secures the bag in becoming basketball world champions. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are playing each other for the third consecutive year during a NBA finals. Last year the Warriors beat the Cavs in Game 5 with a score of 129-120.
This year the Cavs’ lineup got shaken up quite a bit. Kyrie Irving, one of the team’s star players left the Cavs to go to the Boston Celtics in August 2017 after weeks of speculation. Then in February, the Cavs traded Dwayne Wade, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder. Irving almost took down the Cavs in the previous playoff season matchup when the Celtics played Cleveland.
The Warriors stayed pretty similar from last year at least when it comes to their key players. A few of the old Cav players still apply.
Stephen Curry: Point guard/shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors. Shoots a mean three-pointer. Has played for the Warriors his whole NBA career. May or may not actually be an undercover hot head.
Klay Thompson: Shooting guard/small forward for the Warriors. Grew up in Oregon with Cavs player Kevin Love. Also shoots a mean three.
Kevin Durant: Small forward/power forward for the Warriors. Caused a big upset with his former teammate Russell Westbrook when he left Oklahoma City to go to the Warriors. Really tall and has an interesting beard/hairline.
Draymond Green: Power forward/center for the Warriors. Likes to fight (specifically wants to fight Tristan Thompson right now). Probably still believes the world is flat.
Steve Kerr: Head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Kerr is also a former member of the legendary Chicago Bulls 1993-1998. So yes, not only is Kerr nice with it, he played alongside the GOAT, Michael Jordan. He is also quite woke and has no issue calling out racial injustice in America.
LeBron James: Small forward/power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Still carrying the team. Also is known to exit quickly from the stadium when he loses. Someone may have to check on him after Game 4 to make sure he doesn’t kill his teammates/start negotiations to sign with another team.
J.R. Smith: Small forward/shooting guard for the Cavs. May or may not drink Hennessy or smoke weed before, during, and after games.
Tristan Thompson: Power forward/center for the Cavs. Some refer to him as Tristan “Third-Trimester” Thompson (see section below). Has a daughter with Khloe Kardashian. Has a son from a previous relationship with Jordan Craig. The whole situation is quite messy–again keep reading for details.
Kevin Love: Power forward/center for the Cavs. Honorary white man on the team. Has probably been used to being the only white man in a room full of Black men for most of his life. Five-time all-star. Not bad on the eyes.
Tyronn Lue: Head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Like Kerr, Lue knows a thing or two about winning–he played with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers from 1998-2001.
The fights. The fury.
With every sport, tensions sometimes get a little high. This season has seen a big focus of tension on Tristan Thompson, for the obvious reason. If you were somewhere living under a rock, Thompson was allegedly caught cheating on his then pregnant girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian. Multiple videos surfaced of Thompson gallivanting around with a couple mysterious women. Needless to say even fans of the Cavaliers weren’t happy with Thompson after the news broke and they had no problem letting it show.
Green and Thompson have a thing for one another, one that deals with swinging hands. The two have gotten into some heated exchanges, which resulted in Thompson getting thrown out of Game 1 with a technical foul.
The first exchange between Green and Thompson actually started as light trash talk between James, Curry and Klay Thompson.
Their argument continued into Game 3 where they both received technical fouls.
Curry and Cavaliers player Kendrick Perkins got into an argument during Game 2 right at the end of the second quarter. After further consideration, it may be time to acknowledge that church boy Curry may have a little fire under him!
For further pop culture reference, Perkins is the same player who argued with Drake after the Cavs played the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs.
Curry and James have a long, friendly competition with each other, but certain times their bravado gets in the way. The two have had their share of battles in previous games.
Other things to know/people you should ignore
*Conspiracy theorists: There will be people who argue the system is rigged. Stay away from them. They are exhibiting peak hotep characteristics. Until someone can offer serious receipts, keep it moving.
*People who berate you for band-wagon-ing: Look there’s only two teams that make the finals every year and chances are they may or may not be the team you actually root for in the regular season.
*The “know it all’s”: Don’t get too bogged down in specifics and definitely don’t challenge them.
As long as you use this handy guide you should be able to get through Game 4 seamlessly. Good luck!