“Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”
A lot of folks should’ve taken that advice when considering what happened in the Western Conference Finals with the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors were down three games to one and were totally dismantled in back-to-back games against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The record-setting Warriors, who were the most explosive offensive team in the league throughout the entire season, looked like a team that met their match in a talented Oklahoma City team that featured two of the best seven players in the world in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Even after a ho-hum Warriors Game 5 victory, it was hard to be convinced that they put their struggles in Oklahoma City behind them to win an elimination game on the road in what was sure to be a hostile environment.
In Game 6, with both the season and their historical legacy on the line, the Warriors delivered a magnificent performance.
They overcame an eight-point fourth quarter deficit, and it wasn’t even Stephen Curry, the reigning two-time MVP, who was the one to bail them out, although he wasn’t too shabby.
Curry almost averaged a triple-double in Game 6, but with the season on the line he was upstaged by the other “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson.
Thompson made a playoff record 11 three pointers, scored 41 points and delivered one of the most magnificent shooting performances in the history of the league to keep the Warriors and history alive.
Sure enough the Warriors, who won 73 games in the regular season, responded with yet another double-digit comeback to win Game 7 and the series on Monday night.
However, Saturday night is where history was saved for the record-setting Warriors.
Their accomplishment of 73 wins would mean close to nothing without an NBA Championship.
Nobody remembers that the 2001 Seattle Mariners won the most regular season games of all time, because their achievement wasn’t validated with a championship title at season's end.
The Warriors had a monumental deficit against a great team and were able to prevail because their star players were able to rise to the occasion.
The Warriors are now four wins away from immortality. They could potentially be looking at back-to-back championships capped off with a record-setting 73-win regular season.
Immortality is staring the Warriors right in the face, but there’s only one man standing in the way of all that.
His name is Lebron James.
Lebron willed the Cavaliers back to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year and he’ll be playing in his sixth consecutive NBA Finals.
An unbelievable achievement, but he still has one piece of unfinished business to deliver in his Hall Of Fame legacy.
Lebron must deliver a championship title to his hometown. Title-starved Cleveland has been waiting since 1964 to celebrate a championship and has had plenty of heartbreak along the way.
His Cavaliers will go into the NBA Finals as underdogs, rightfully so against a 73-win Warriors team.
However, Lebron will have two weapons that will be fully healthy that were not in last year's six-game defeat to these same Warriors.
Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
For James and the Cavaliers to have any chance against the Warriors, he cannot be on an island by himself.
He’ll need both Love and Irving to be great to assist any chance of slowing down history.
The stage is set for a record-setting finals either way. You’ll either see the end of a title drought for long suffering Cleveland or immortality for the Warriors
I’m putting my money on history and immortality.
Warriors in six.
You can listen to me Sunday and Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM/101.9 FM.