Stephen Curry and Draymond Green reflect back on Golden State’s many memorable NBA Finals battles with James and marvel how they’re all still playing such high-level basketball so many years later.
Steph vs. LeBron. Celtics vs. 76ers. Knicks vs. Heat. Jokic vs. Durant.
Big names. Big rivalries. The NBA has gotten a starry second-round slate, with Stephen Curry and Golden State set to meet LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, along with Philadelphia taking on Boston in the renewal of a rivalry between two of the best sports cities in the country.
Already underway in Round 2: Miami vs. New York, another matchup with tons of past playoff history, and a Denver-Phoenix series pitting two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets against past MVP Kevin Durant of the Suns.
There are four of the nation’s top six television markets — No. 1 New York, No. 2 Los Angeles, No. 4 Philadelphia and No. 6 San Francisco — still in the playoffs. Boston is No. 10, Phoenix No. 11, Denver No. 16 and Miami No. 18
Yet this Western Conference semifinal matchup starting Tuesday is new for everybody: Curry, Green, Klay Thompson and these Warriors have never faced LeBron’s Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs — even if they’re plenty familiar with James himself.
“It is special to know the first series we played him in Cleveland in the ’14-15 to now, we’re blessed to be playing at this level,” Curry said. “Excited about a new chapter, two teams trying to keep their season alive and chase a championship. That’s what it’s all about.”
The 76ers-Celtics and Suns-Nuggets games on Monday are on TNT, as are Tuesday’s Heat-Knicks and Lakers-Warriors matchups. The Tuesday doubleheader will be preceded by the announcement of this season’s MVP at 7 p.m. Eastern, also on TNT.
— Wednesday’s 76ers-Celtics game is on TNT.
— Thursday’s Lakers-Warriors game is on ESPN.
— Team broadcasters will no longer air games. Everything after the first round is exclusive to national windows and not available for local telecasts.
— The NBA Finals on ABC begin June 1.