Draymond Green knows he’s in the middle of something special. On Friday, he noted how special it was to be a part of something that “will be talked about long after us.”
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 26, 2017
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are actually a part of a lot of special things.
The first is obvious. For the first time in NBA history, two teams are meeting in the NBA Finals in three consecutive years. Not even the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have ever pulled that off. The 2017 Finals is also special in that it’s a rubber match. While nobody would be surprised if the two teams met again in 2018 (or 2019, for that matter), the fact that the first two were split makes the third straight Finals even spicier.
It’s also hard to imagine two teams entering a Finals with such momentum. In the era of the four-round postseason, only the 1989 and 2001 Lakers had entered the finals undefeated, and nobody had previously done so by sweeping three best-of-seven series. The Warriors did that in 2017. Still, they’re not even significantly more dominant than the Cavaliers, who are 12-1. Almost no matter how long it goes, the winner of this series can lay claim to one of the best postseasons ever. Heck, if the series goes long enough, the loser can, as well. How often can we say that?
Lastly, no team has ever won a championship with an undefeated postseason. Golden State has that chance. Whether the Warriors will do that (or even win) remains to be seen. But the fact that it’s possible is amazing.
Draymond is right. For many reasons, the 2017 NBA Finals are quite special. We will certainly be remembering this series for a long time.