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2007 NBA Finals Preview
Cleveland Cavaliers vs San Antonio Spurs
The second-seed Cleveland Cavaliers took the Eastern Conference, beating Miami, New Jersey and Detroit. To get to this point, the third-seed San Antonio Spurs went through Denver, Phoenix and Utah. This championship series looks like a slam-dunk for the Spurs. Then again, as late as two games into this year’s Eastern Conference Finals most experts thought that Detroit would be representing the East.
Here’s some team history to consider. First, the Spurs have been to the NBA Finals in 1999, 2003 and 2005, taking the title each time. Is San Antonio possibly a dynasty in the making? The Cavaliers have never been to the finals before. Does that mean anything? If you think it does consider the ever growing power of LeBron James.
Clubs holding the homecourt edge have won the NBA Finals 74% of the time since 1983-84. Road teams have won the opening game only 27% of the time. That means 16 of 60 visiting clubs hold that honor. Eight went on to take the title. Whoever wins the initial game in the series is favored to win it all. First game winners have the earned the championship 72% of the time (43 of 60).
Recent history tells us the following. The Spurs have eight players with final series experience, having played a total of 103 games. The Cavaliers’ Eric Snow is the only one on that team who has played in the NBA Finals. He was in 11 games with Seattle (1996) and Philadelphia (2001).
This year these two teams met twice with Cleveland taking both games by scores of 88- 81 and 82- 78. Of course this is a grind them down, nonstop, seven-game marathon and not a few games in an 82-game season. The good news for both clubs is that neither have anyone on the injury list. Let’s take a look at what each team brings to the court and what they have to do to win.
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