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NBA Finals links: Warriors in six, says Kawakami; Steph wants to be Akron’s favorite son

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94.  (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

In case you have missed any of our around-the-clock Warriors-Cavaliers coverage, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a roundup of the latest and greatest on the cusp of Thursday night’s Game 1:

Tim Kawakami: This is all brand new to Warriors, but they’ll take it in six

The moms of Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes share their pre-Finals thoughts

How to beat the Warriors: Marcus Thompson draws it up

How to beat the Cavaliers: A Cleveland scribe draws it up

Dave Newhouse says Oakland deserves sports teams that show respect, loyalty

Curry says sorry, but he wants to be Akron’s favorite son

Mark Purdy: Warriors will embrace the physical against Cavs

Oakland and Cleveland, two cities with much in common

 

Here’s some of what is being said in Cleveland and elsewhere around the country as Game 1 approaches:

11 phrases every bandwagon Cavs fan should know

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Cleveland’s ‘Elephant in the room’

Will Irving, Love injuries continue Cleveland’s sports injury curse?

NBA TV explores Oakland’s impressive basketball history

New York Times on how Steph Curry introduced bad rap to little Davidson

The Guardian on the coach who held Steph Curry scoreless

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NBA Finals Links: Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Cavaliers’ LeBron James prove Akron is where stars are born

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94.  (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) exchange some words at the end of the fourth quarter on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Can’t get enough of the NBA Finals? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll keep you updated on what others are writing and saying about the Warriors and Cavaliers as they battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy beginning on Thursday in Oakland.

In case you missed it, here is a roundup of our latest NBA Finals stories:

* Believe it or not, LeBron James once played for Oakland.

* Our live feed during Game 1 on Thursday.

* Tim Kawakami on the two sides of Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

* Mark Purdy on how hard it is to root against LeBron James.

* The Warriors’ 105-year-old fan gets tickets to Game 1.

* Marcus Thompson lists 20 things casual fans need to know about this matchup.

Here are a few stories produced by the Cleveland-area press corps as well as some national stories focusing on the Cavaliers:

* Did you know that both LeBron James and Stephen Curry were born in the same Akron, Ohio hospital, 36 months apart?: Here are their birth certificates to prove it.

* Watch out, Warriors. LeBron says he’s playing the best basketball of his career: Is LeBron now unstoppable?

* Cavaliers coach David Blatt actually agreed to become a Warriors assistant coach before the season. Then the Cavaliers came calling. Blatt thanks Steve Kerr for letting him out of his deal.

* Matthew Dellavedova from Saint Mary’s loves to mix it up, says teammate Kyrie Irving: “When he first came, there was almost a fist fight every day in practice … It’s just that Australian blood” Watch: Irving talking about the scrappy Dellavedova

* If there’s one area where LeBron James is struggling it’s from beyond the arc. What can be done about LeBron’s long-distance woes?

* How bad of a season has it been for the Cavs’ Kevin Love? He’s out for the season, but it didn’t stop Love from re-aggravating his shoulder injury.

* A cynic might call it a helluva lie, but LeBron James says rookie Cavs coach David Blatt has had a helluva season.

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NBA Unveils “Big Logo” Sleeved Jerseys for Christmas Day Games

BIG Logo_Harrison Barnes

 

The NBA unveiled the special jerseys to be worn by the ten teams playing on Christmas Day.  They are short-sleeved and feature an enlarged team logo on the front.

Yes, the Warriors’ are yellow.

Despite the bad reviews from last year, which no doubt promoted the switch to the white sleeved jerseys this year, adidas put the Warriors back in yellow. But they won’t be alone.

“They’re cool,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “It’s nice to be playing on Christmas Day to showcase them off. Like I’ve said, as long as we shoot well and get the win, they look good.”

The Clippers, Lakers, Bulls, Heat, Thunder, Knicks, Nets, Rockets and Spurs will also join the sleeved-jersey gang.

Here are looks at the rest of them, plus the commercial featuring Stephen Curry (I like Brooklyn’s the most, hands down.)

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Game 2 Rewind: Chris Paul, Clippers Outgun Stephen Curry, Warriors in Round 1 of the Heated Rivalry

Mark Ayotte, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, David Lee
You could see it in their eyes. You could hear in their voice, as they talked through clinched teeth and bit their tongue.

The Warriors don’t like the Clippers. And they were mad at themselves for not bringing their best against bullies from down south, losing 126-115 at Staples Center.

“We had no business in this game,” coach Mark Jackson said. “But we fought. We battled. We hung in there. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Warriors turned the ball over 25 times, something they knew was a no-no against the transition savvy Clippers. Their miscues, including a career-high 11 by Curry, helped the Clippers rack up 22 fast-break points.

The Warriors were beat down the glass, had a tough time staying attached to the Clippers’ shooters and had zero answer for Chris Paul. He torched the Warriors for 42 points, 15 assists and six steals in 37 minutes.

Yet, with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Golden State was down just eight. Victory was close enough to smell, and not grabbing it left a bitter taste.

“Certain teams kind of have that edge about them, for whatever reason,” Andre Iguodala said. “They’re kind of one of those teams. Even playing in Denver last year, it was the same chippiness. So we kind of have to be smart about it. Neither team has really done anything for it to really be a rivalry. Somebody has to establish something. So we’ve got to stay focused on the path ahead.”

More on Thursday’s game …

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Game 1 Rewind: Warriors Smash on Kobe Bryant-less Lakers

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 7.06.00 AMAfter all the preseason hype, all the talk of high expectations, many presumed the Warriors to come out and struggled. Especially after the Lakers thumped the much-ballyhooed Clippers on opening night, a let down wouldn’t have been surprising.

But that didn’t come close to happening Wednesday night.

The Warriors, instead, made an emphatic statement, beating the Lakers125-94 at Oracle on Wednesday.  Was the statement that Golden State is for real? Or was it that the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers are really bad?

Perhaps it’s too early to answer that definitively. But it certainly looked different.

These Warriors smelled blood and pounced. They went for the jugular of a vulnerable team — playing without Steve Nash on the second night of a back-to-back — like you’d expect from a legit contender.

Maybe it was the energy of the season opener. Or maybe they fed off the passion in the arena whenever the Lakers come to town. Or maybe this is just who they are.

“We understand we’re going to have to have a lot of energy at home,” Andre Iguodala said. “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve won a lot of home games. (Last year with Denver, we) had the best home record in the NBA. Still, you’ve got to take care of business on the road. Energy gets you wins at home, but its how you go on the road, compete against the top-tier teams.”

The Warriors will have a chance to do that tonight against the host Los Angeles Clippers.

Before then, here’s the season debut of the game rewind …

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David Lee, Stephen Curry Shine as Warriors Beat Los Angeles Lakers in China

No, I’m not in China. But I did watch the Warriors’ 100-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing on Tuesday. As far as the Warriors are concerned, it’s already fair to call the trip to China can be considered a success if only for reason: it got David Lee going.

For the first time this preseason, Lee looked like the All-Star he is. Part of it was the matador defense of Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol. But most of it was the liveliness of Lee. He was simply quicker and more explosive than his Lakers front-court counterparts, and he had various elements of his game was clicking.

That’s a vital step for the Warriors to round into form as the regular season news. They have hardly looked like the team expected to be a force in the Western Conference. But you could see some signs that’s starting to happen.

Lee had 31 points on 12 of 16 shooting in the first of two games against the Lakers in China. Lee made his first seven shots – four layups, two jumpers and a turn-around out of the post – en route to 22 first-half points.

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