NBA Finals 2018 - Cavaliers vs Warriors
It’s that time of year again, with the NBA Finals just around the corner. For the first time in 39 years, both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals went to 7 games, and now only two teams remain in the race to be the Champions of 2018 – Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Who will win? Let’s take a look at the key players from each team that are playing a pivotal roll in helping their team achieve Championship glory.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Steph Curry played one of the best games of his career in Game 7 of the Conference Finals to help the Warriors to a come from behind victory and secure themselves another Finals appearance. Curry finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists. Playing a total of 6 games in the Conference Finals, Curry finished with 140 points, 40 rebounds and 39 assists. Looking for their third title in four years, Curry will be eager to come out firing in Game 1 and set the Warriors up to the best possible start.
Image credit: @warriors
Last year’s Finals MVP, Kevin Durant has once again proved to be a key player in the pointy end of the season. Durant currently ranks fourth in the league for post-season scoring. Along with Curry, Durant played a crucial role in helping the Warriors get the win against the Rockets in Game 7, with 34 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. If Durant is able to continue this form in the Finals against the Cavaliers, the Warriors will be the team to beat.
Image credit: @warriors
LeBron James has had a stellar post-season, with seven 40-point games – the most since Allen Iverson back in 2001. With the Celtics leading the series 2-0, LeBron helped bring his side back into contention and earn a spot in the Finals, with the Cavs winning the series 4-3. In what is his 15th season, there seems to be no stopping him. In the post-season, LeBron is ranked number one for scoring, with 612 points to his name before the Finals series has even begun. In addition to this, he has had 166 rebounds and 158 assists. James is only the second player to every reach these numbers in NBA history and he will play a vital role for the Cavs in the finals.
Image credit: @natlyphoto
Prior to being concussed in the first quarter of Game 6, Kevin Love, was arguably the Cavs second best player. He was a solid contributor for the Cavaliers with 75 points, 14 assists and 55 rebounds in the five full games that he played against the Celtics. The Cavs managed to win Games 6 and 7, with Love now fighting for doctor’s approval to play Game 1 of the finals on Friday morning (AEST).
Image credit: @kevinlove
It all comes down to this! Who do you think will be crowned the Champions of 2018?
SPALDING CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
With the start of December just around the corner, Christmas is not too far away! The team at Spalding have selected our top gifts for basketball fans of all ages, to help make the task of finding the perfect gift a little easier. Simply click on the product name to start your shopping!
FOR THE LITTLE BASKETBALL FAN…
The first colouring in style basketball has arrived! The Colour Me Spalding features a range of Spalding characters and comes with 12 washable, non-toxic markers, so kids can let their imagination run wild. To clean the basketball, simply pop it in the washing machine and it will come out as good as new, allowing kids to be creative time and time again! Colour Me Spalding is best suited to kids over 4 years of age.
Specifically designed for kids 8 years and younger, the Spalding Rookie Gear is lighter in weight and features a soft grip cover, helping kids to build their confidence and develop the proper playing techniques. The Rookie Gear Basketball is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play.
The High Bounce Ball is the perfect all-rounder ball and is suited to kids of all ages. It is perfect for kids to play with at school, at home, or on the weekend. The High Bounce Balls are available in a range of styles, so there is sure to be something for everyone!
FOR THE BASKETBALL PLAYER…
Designed to help basketballers at all levels, the Spalding Training Aids range features a selection of skills-based tools and equipment to support players during their training and enable them to get the most out of their game. No matter what stage you are at in your basketball career, you can never stop improving your game. To see our full range of Training Aids, please click here.
Play with the same basketball, as your favourite NBA stars! The Spalding NBA Leather Gameball is the official ball that is used in the NBA, is made of exclusive top-grade leather cover and is suited to indoor play.
The Spalding Basketball Australia range features a new and improved design, which is exclusive to Basketball Australia! With four different balls to choose from, there is one to suit all playing surfaces and player levels.
FOR THE BASKETBALL FAN...
What better gift to give a basketball fan than a Spalding with their name on it! Personalise one or two panels on your Spalding Basketball and UV printing ensures that the artwork is there for life!
The new range of Spalding accessories allows fans to take their love of basketball everywhere they go! Featuring a keyring, coin purse, zippered pouch, card case and travel bag, there is something for everyone. Made from a premium composite leather material, these accessories are the perfect gift for all basketball fans!
The new Spalding NBA Pearl Basketball, features a trendy composite cover, with metallic material on the top and bottom panels. Be the envy of all your friends, and play your game with the most stylish Spalding of all!
How can you go past a mini backboard set? A great gift idea for basketball fans of all ages. Set it up in your home or office for endless fun of shooting hoops!
It’s NBA Finals Time! - 25th May 2017
Our favourite time of the year has arrived – the NBA Playoffs and Finals. It’s when we find out which individuals and teams can perform on the big stage. Spalding has been providing the tools to make this happen for over 30 years.
It’s the time of year that not only do we enjoy the talent on display, but when we get most sentimental. In the lead-up to the NBA Finals Series, we thought we would look back through the history vault and provide our top 5 NBA finals series of all time, as chosen by the Spalding Australia team. Always a point of contention, let’s see if you agree!
1. 1970: Knicks vs Lakers
This finals series had it all – neither the Lakers or the Knicks won two games straight and the alternating pattern was set to continue with the Lakers winning game 6, and the Knicks following the pattern to win the series 4-3. One of the highlights from game 7, was when Willis Reed appeared from the tunnel just before the start of the game. No one knew whether he was going to play after suffering a torn muscle in game 5. However, he scored the first 2 points of the deciding game and inspired his team to victory.
2. 1984: Celtics vs Lakers
Known as Showdown ’84, this finals series was one that everyone had been waiting for since the rivalry between these two teams was reignited when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird began playing in 1979. With Johnson playing for the Lakers and Bird playing for the Celtics, the 1984 finals series lived up to the hype, with the series tied after game 6. Both teams were unable to be separated in the first quarter of the deciding game, however, the Celtics managed to control the final three-quarters and run away with the series win. Larry Bird not only won the Finals MVP, but also the league’s MVP for the season.
3. 1998: Bulls vs Jazz
This series had everything. Five out of the six games were decided by less than 6 points, further proving just how extraordinary the 1998 finals truly were. Utah Jazz were trailing the series 3-2 and were extremely close to taking it to a 7th game, losing game 6 by the slimmest of margins – only 1 point. The final game of the series featured one of Michael Jordan’s greatest ever highlights, with 10 seconds left, he dribbled right, crossed to his left pushing off Jazz’s key defender Byron Russell and hit a 20-foot jumper to give the Bulls a 1 point lead with 5.2 seconds left on the clock and secure their sixth NBA title in 8 years.
4. 2003: Spurs vs Nets
The Spurs were leading the finals 3-2 and throughout the first three-quarters of game 6, it looked like it would be heading to a seventh and deciding game, as the Spurs had been trailing all game. With no sign of giving in, the Spurs scored an incredible 31 points to 14, claiming the finals series in remarkable scenes. Tim Duncan was the best player of the series for the Spurs, scoring a total of 145 points and was the top scoring player for rebounds in each of the six games. The series marked the end of David Robinson’s career, retiring as a 2x NBA Champion, after a 14-year career with the Spurs.
5. 2016: Cavaliers vs Warriors
The Golden State Warriors began last year’s finals series with a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers, however, by the end of game 6, it was tied 3 games each. The deciding game of the finals series did not disappoint, with only 4 points separating the two teams, and the Cleveland Cavaliers winning their first championship since joining the competition in 1970. The Cavs were also the first team in NBA history to win a finals series from 3-1 down. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry were crucial to their own individual teams. Curry scored a total of 158 points for the Warriors, meanwhile, for the Cavaliers, James and Irving were both instrumental in the victory, scoring 208 and 190 points respectively.
Let’s hope that this year’s finals series is just as good, if not better than those mentioned above.
Spalding is proud to be the official game ball of the NBA. The video below will take you behind the scenes, and give you a firsthand look into how our balls are made.