Golden State Warriors should expect to play Cleveland Cavaliers in Finals again

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James /

The Golden State Warriors should expect to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the fourth time, whether or not Kyrie Irving is there.

The Golden State Warriors just won their second championship in three years. It was the first one they won with Kevin Durant as a member of the team. They’re only going to get better.

The chemistry between Golden State’s stars will get stronger as they continue to play together. Furthermore, the Warriors have an improved bench, adding guys like Nick Young and Omri Casspi to replace Ian Clark and Matt Barnes. It’s a scary thought, but they are easily the favorites to win next year’s championship.

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Despite all of the silliness and nonsense happening in Cleveland, the Warriors should expect to play the Cavaliers again next June. Whether or not Kyrie Irving suits up for the Cavs ever again, they will reach the Finals. We will get a (modified) fourth chapter in this saga.

As long as LeBron James is in the Eastern Conference, his whole team can request a trade and he’d make it to the NBA Finals. Golden State will still have to deal with him as long as he’s in the East. Irving’s presence (or lack thereof) doesn’t change that.

It’s too early to gauge exactly what the Cavaliers’ chances at beating the Warriors would be if they were to trade Irving, but it’s hard to imagine that they’d get someone who is more well-equipped to attack Golden State. Even if they landed Carmelo Anthony, it seems unlikely that he’d be able to break down the Warriors’ defense the way Irving has the last two seasons. It’s hard to replace a weapon like that.

Next: Where Kyrie Irving would be the biggest threat

The Warriors’ path to the Finals might be tougher if Irving were to get sent West to a team with a strong foundation. If (and when) they reach that final series in the postseason, they’ll meet LeBron James again. Only this time, he won’t have the guy who helped seal his only championship in Cleveland.