Remarkable sports stories that turn into legends often happen in trilogies.
The late Muhammad Ali possibly would never have been known as the World’s Greatest to a world of fans today if he turned down a final meeting with his ultimate rival Joe Frazier in the 70’s.
“Thrilla in Manila” – the third and final clash of the two heavyweight fighters – will soon go down in history as the greatest world title fight of all.
In basketball, who will ever forget the 80’s finals rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson which ended after their third meeting in a championship series?
Their rivalry started in 1984 when Bird and the Boston Celtics defeated the Johnson-led LA Lakers to win the NBA finals after the seventh round. The LA Lakers soon exact revenge on Boston in the 1985 NBA finals and handed the Bird-led squad another Finals defeat in 1987.
On Friday, another sporting trilogy is set to be written as the Golden State Warriors face-off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals for the third time.
Much is at stake for the Lebron James-led squad coming into the finals.
The Cavaliers, which has won the championship last year, is out to prove everyone that overcoming a 3-1 series deficit is not just a streak of luck as everybody would like to think.
Despite being the league’s defending champion, odds provided by Bodog show that the Cavaliers are seen as 5/12 underdogs against Golden State.
Golden State, which has 2/1 odds of bringing home the championship trophy this year, is definitely itching to give the humiliating favor back to the Cavaliers after blowing its lead in last year’s finals.
What makes the line-up of Golden State Warriors potent compared to last year is the presence of Kevin Durant, which gives the team additional offensive fire-power. There is now 13/4 odds that the Stephen Curry-led ballers ending the series 4-1.
The key for Cavaliers to win this year’s finals is for Lebron James to rally all of his teammates to contribute offensively. James and Durant are leading the odds of becoming the finals MVP with both players having 11/5 odds.
In last year’s finals, Kyrie Irving has been the Cavaliers’ spark to ignite a comeback and pull an upset against the Warriors.
With Durant now in play, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue will be needing all the help he can get from his bench players Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson to overcome the tougher Warriors’ defense.
Whatever the outcome is, this year’s NBA finals trilogy will definitely be one for the sporting books.