Cavaliers, Warriors set for historic matchup in 2018 Finals

NBA.com Global on May 31, 2018 07:53 AM
Cavaliers, Warriors set for historic matchup in 2018 Finals
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 7: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors match up in Game Three of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 7, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA press release

NEW YORK – The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will make history when they meet in the NBA Finals 2018 presented by YouTube TV, beginning with Game 1 on Thursday, May 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN Radio (Friday, 9am, PHL time).

This series marks the first time in major North American sports history that the championship will match the same teams in four consecutive years. Cleveland and Golden State each advanced to the NBA Finals with Game 7 road victories in the Conference Finals – the first time in NBA history that both Conference Finals in a season ended with Game 7 road victories.

Here is a look at the NBA Finals 2018 presented by YouTube TV, which will reach fans live in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages on their television, computers, mobile devices and tablets.

Individual Milestones

8 – Cleveland’s LeBron James is set to play in his eighth straight NBA Finals.
The other five players who have appeared in at least eight consecutive Finals all played for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 1960s: Bill Russell (10 straight Finals appearances), Tom Heinsohn (nine), Sam Jones (nine), K.C. Jones (eight) and Frank Ramsey (eight).

4 – Golden State head coach Steve Kerr has made the Finals in all four seasons as an NBA coach. The only other coach to do so is Pat Riley, who led the Lakers to four straight Finals from 1982-85.

3 – Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue has reached the NBA Finals in each of his first three seasons as an NBA coach, joining Kerr and Riley as the only coaches to accomplish the feat.  

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

39 – This season marked the first time in 39 years that both Conference Finals featured a Game 7.

10 – The Warriors are making their 10th NBA Finals appearance, the third most ever.  They trail the Lakers (31 Finals appearances) and the Celtics (21).

4 – The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed from the Eastern Conference, making them the seventh team seeded fourth or lower to advance to the NBA Finals.

30 – Golden State guard Stephen Curry’s No. 30 leads the list of most popular NBA jerseys for the third year in a row. LeBron James ranked second and the Warriors’ Kevin Durant was third.

11 – Eleven players on Finals rosters have NBA G League experience, including seven who appeared in the NBA’s official minor league this season.

The Finals on ABC

13 – Mike Breen will call his 13th NBA Finals, the most for any play-by-play announcer.

12 – Jeff Van Gundy will serve as a Finals television analyst for the 12th time, the most for a television analyst.

10 – Mark Jackson will serve as a Finals analyst for the 10th time, the most by any African-American analyst for a nationally televised Finals.  

17 – Working the series for ESPN Radio, Hubie Brown will be a Finals analyst for the 17th time – the most for any analyst (radio and television combined).

NBA Digital

30 – NBA TV will premiere a special NBA TV Finals Film Room: 30th Anniversary of Lakers vs. Pistons retrospective on Sunday, June 10, at 9 p.m. ET, featuring insights from Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and John Salley on the memorable 1988 Finals.

90 – NBA TV will have 90-minute Live at the Finals pregame shows featuring TNT’s Inside the NBA analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, pairing at times with Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Grant Hill, Isiah Thomas, Steve Smith, Dennis Scott and Brent Barry.

NBA Social Media

1.5B – The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world with more than 1.5 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team and player platforms.

102M – LeBron James is the most-followed NBA player on social media with more than 102 million followers combined across Facebook (23.1 million), Twitter (41.7 million) and Instagram (37.8 million).

NBA Finals Around the World

13 – Thirteen international television and radio networks from Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Italy, Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, Poland, Spain and Taiwan will provide live onsite commentary.

10 – Ten international television networks from the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand and Uruguay will broadcast the Finals remotely for the first time.

NBA Cares

1,174 and 1,175 – Boys & Girls Club of San Leandro (Calif.) and Cleveland’s Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center will be the 1,174th and 1,175st places where NBA Cares has created spaces for kids and families to live, learn or play in 37 countries and territories.

2 – LeBron James and Kevin Durant are two of the 10 finalists for the 2017-18 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente.  The winner will be announced at the 2018 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 25 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT (Tuesday, June 26, PHL time).

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