2018 NBA Finals

2018 NBA Finals
2018 NBA Finals logo.svg
TeamCoachWins
Golden State WarriorsSteve Kerr4
Cleveland CavaliersTyronn Lue0
DatesMay 31 – June 8
MVPKevin Durant
(Golden State Warriors)
TelevisionU.S.:
English: ABC
Spanish: ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN (Games 1 and 3) Sportsnet (Games 2 and 4)
AnnouncersABC:
ESPN Deportes:
Radio networkESPN Radio (National)
Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network (Cleveland)
Golden State Warriors Radio Network (Golden State)
AnnouncersMarc Kestecher and Hubie Brown (ESPN Radio)
John Michael and Jim Chones (Cleveland)
Tim Roye, Jim Barnett and Tom Tolbert (Golden State)
Referees
Game 1:Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy
Game 2:Mike Callahan, David Guthrie, Derrick Stafford
Game 3:Marc Davis, John Goble, Zach Zarba
Game 4:Scott Foster, James Capers, Jason Phillips
Eastern FinalsCavaliers defeated Celtics, 4–3
Western FinalsWarriors defeated Rockets, 4–3
NBA Finals

The 2018 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2017–18 season and conclusion of the season's playoffs. In this best-of-seven playoff, the defending NBA champion and Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors swept the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 0. This Finals was the first time in any of North America's four major professional sports leagues that the same two teams met for the championship four years in a row.[1] This was also the first time that a team was swept in the NBA Finals since 2007, in which the Cavaliers were also the losing team. LeBron James, in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, suffered the second Finals sweeps of his career, having also played in the 2007 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year. After his third appearance in the Finals, Durant became the only player to shoot over 50–40–90 for an NBA Finals career under the non-shortened 3-point line.[2]

The Warriors had home-court advantage in the series since they had a better regular season record of 58–24, compared to the Cavaliers 50–32. Entering the Finals matchup, the Warriors were also noted by various sports media outlets as one of the biggest NBA Finals favorites in recent history.[3][4][5] This was the first time since 2012 that the Finals did not feature either of the top seeds in each conference. The 2018 Finals began on May 31 and ended on June 8. The series was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2018 NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV.[6]

Background

Cleveland Cavaliers

This was the Cleveland Cavaliers' fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, and fifth appearance overall. This is also the eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance for LeBron James.[7]

Prior to the 2017–18 season, point guard Kyrie Irving demanded to be traded away from the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers agreed to his request, trading Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for point guard Isaiah Thomas, small forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Žižić, the first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets in the 2018 NBA Draft and the Miami Heat's 2020 second round pick. Miami's second round pick was added as compensation after Isaiah Thomas failed his physical.[8] Other major changes included shooting guard Dwyane Wade signing with the Cavaliers, thus reuniting with James from their time together on the Big Three-era Miami Heat,[9] and the signing of point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year contract.[10]

On February 8, 2018 – just before the NBA trade deadline – the Cavaliers radically changed their roster in a little more than an hour,[11][12] acquiring George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. in exchange for Thomas, Rose, Crowder, Wade, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, and their own 2018 first-round pick. Multiple writers argued at the time that the trades made the Cavaliers significantly better.[13][14][15]

The Cavaliers finished the 2017–18 regular season with a 50–32 record, securing the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers in seven games in the first round, swept the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and defeated the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.[16]

Golden State Warriors

This was the Golden State Warriors' fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.[17] During the 2017–18 offseason, the Warriors resigned their core players, including Stephen Curry to a five-year contract worth $201 million, and Kevin Durant to a two-year, $53 million contract. Golden State also resigned Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, and David West.[18] A major free agent acquired during the offseason was guard Nick Young.[19]

The Warriors finished the 2017–18 regular season with a 58–24 record, winning the Pacific Division and securing the 2nd seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, Golden State defeated the San Antonio Spurs in five games in the first round, eliminated the New Orleans Pelicans in five games in the Western Conference semifinals, and defeated the Houston Rockets in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.[20]

The Warriors entered the series as heavy favorites.[21]

Road to the Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers (Eastern Conference champion) Golden State Warriors (Western Conference champion)
Eastern Conference
# Team W L PCT GB GP
1 cToronto Raptors * 59 23 .720 82
2 xBoston Celtics 55 27 .671 4.0 82
3 xPhiladelphia 76ers 52 30 .634 7.0 82
4 yCleveland Cavaliers * 50 32 .610 9.0 82
5 xIndiana Pacers 48 34 .585 11.0 82
6 yMiami Heat * 44 38 .537 15.0 82
7 xMilwaukee Bucks 44 38 .537 15.0 82
8 xWashington Wizards 43 39 .524 16.0 82
9 Detroit Pistons 39 43 .476 20.0 82
10 Charlotte Hornets 36 46 .439 23.0 82
11 New York Knicks 29 53 .354 30.0 82
12 Brooklyn Nets 28 54 .341 31.0 82
13 Chicago Bulls 27 55 .329 32.0 82
14 Orlando Magic 25 57 .305 34.0 82
15 Atlanta Hawks 24 58 .293 35.0 82
4th seed in the East, 6th best league record
Regular season
Western Conference
# Team W L PCT GB GP
1 zHouston Rockets * 65 17 .793 82
2 yGolden State Warriors * 58 24 .707 7.0 82
3 yPortland Trail Blazers * 49 33 .598 16.0 82
4 xOklahoma City Thunder 48 34 .585 17.0 82
5 xUtah Jazz 48 34 .585 17.0 82
6 xNew Orleans Pelicans 48 34 .585 17.0 82
7 xSan Antonio Spurs 47 35 .573 18.0 82
8 xMinnesota Timberwolves 47 35 .573 18.0 82
9 Denver Nuggets 46 36 .561 19.0 82
10 Los Angeles Clippers 42 40 .512 23.0 82
11 Los Angeles Lakers 35 47 .427 30.0 82
12 Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 38.0 82
13 Dallas Mavericks 24 58 .293 41.0 82
14 Memphis Grizzlies 22 60 .268 43.0 82
15 Phoenix Suns 21 61 .256 44.0 82
2nd seed in the West, 3rd best league record
Defeated the 5th seeded Indiana Pacers, 4–3 First round Defeated the 7th seeded San Antonio Spurs, 4–1
Defeated the 1st seeded Toronto Raptors, 4–0 Conference Semifinals Defeated the 6th seeded New Orleans Pelicans, 4–1
Defeated the 2nd seeded Boston Celtics, 4–3 Conference Finals Defeated the 1st seeded Houston Rockets, 4–3

Regular season series

The Warriors won the regular season series 2–0.

Other Languages
беларуская: Фінал НБА 2018
français: Finales NBA 2018
Bahasa Indonesia: NBA Final 2018
русский: Финал НБА 2018