And ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors tonight, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, threw their hat into the ring.
The Warriors' coach claimed that had Igoudala been fit, his team would've beaten Houston in five games instead of needing a Game 7.
The Warriors and Cavs are squaring off in the Finals for the fourth consecutive season, and Golden State guard Klay Thompson has a message for those complaining about the current state of affairs.
The Houston Rockets set a franchise record this season when they won 65 games - a mark good enough to make them as the best team in the National Basketball Association (for the regular season, that is). Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has given Morey his blessing to do what it takes to keep this team together and he'll be more than willing to pay the luxury tax in order to do so. LeBron, Paul and potentially Chris Paul would all have to make similar concessions this time around.
Van Gundy's longtime co-analyst, Mark Jackson, was also on the conference call, and he gave the Cavs more of a puncher's chance.
Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James drives to the hoop against Boston Celtics power forward Al Horford during Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston. ". You just get a great set of players on the court".
The loud "thud" was the injury to Chris Paul in the waning minutes of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on a play where he was performing a series of pump fakes/shakes, causing a partial tear to his hamstring.
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Particularly if the Cavs play LeBron James at "center" - as we saw in last year's Finals - or even if they play deadline acquisition Larry Nance (or Kevin Love, to a certain degree) - the Cavs' roster has better length and versatility on the defensive end now.
It will take a Herculean effort to beat the Warriors.
"Even though I haven't been playing, just working extremely hard just in case I get an opportunity", Hood said during Wednesday's practice.
This is the big one. "Distraught I'd say. But he will be back and ready to go". "They were one half away from winning a championship".
Over the summer and before the season started, there was a lot of skepticism surrounding how the two ball-dominant, alpha dogs would play alongside one another.
Paul is reportedly already attempting to recruit LeBron James to team up with himself and James Harden in Houston. And if they win two - well, then we have a series where anything can happen.