Eastern, Western Conference Finals underway, with favorites taking the lead

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Blake Krantz

by Blake Krantz
One game has been played in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers going up 1-0.
The early results have not been very surprising, as the Warriors have been favorites to win the West all year, and the NBA Finals seem to chase Lebron James wherever he goes.
James is playing in the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth straight season, and he has played in the last four NBA Finals with the Miami Heat. Although James is now leading a less experienced Cavaliers team without Kevin Love and a fully healthy Kyrie Irving, it seems very likely that James will play in the final games of the season once again.
This is not a coincidence. This season, James has served as an “elderly” figure for Cleveland, as he has won championships before and is the unquestionable leader for young players such as point guard Kyrie Irving.
Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the Warriors took game one from the Houston Rockets in dramatic fashion. Golden State ended the first half on a 21-4 run, after Houston jumped out to an early lead. As usual, MVP Steph Curry hit a buzzer beater to end the half, giving the Warriors a 58-55 lead.
The Warriors then held on in a tightly-played second half, 110-106. The Warriors proved to be too much for Houston to handle, especially on the offensive end of the floor at certain points during the game.
For Houston, the injury to Dwight Howard was the big storyline of game one. Howard left the game with a sprained left knee, and his return for game two tonight is questionable. Howard is an important player for the Rockets, but also one which Houston and James Harden are used to playing without, as Howard missed 41 games during the regular season.
Tonight will be close to a must-win for Houston, trying to avoid a 2-0 deficit against the Warriors.
If both favorites, Cleveland and Golden State, advance to the finals, the matchup of superstar Lebron James, who has won before, and emerging superstar Steph Curry, who is perhaps one of the greatest shooters in history, would be one to watch.