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Warriors' ascent to top of West is complete

Golden State is back in the Finals for the first time since 1975 after disposing of the Rockets, setting up a battle with the Cavaliers for the title.

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Lowe: Rebirth of the NBA post-up game

While the efficiency of the 3-pointer and the pick-and-roll have dominated NBA offenses, an old standard is making a quiet and effective comeback, Zach Lowe writes.

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On This Day: The 'Memorial Day Massacre' (1:11)
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Seattle arena investor: No hockey-first plan yet

The investor attempting to build a new basketball and hockey arena in Seattle says his group has yet to be presented with a plan that would have a hockey franchise as the first occupant..

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Statement from Bulls GM on coach firing

Said Gar Forman: "When Tom [Thibodeau] was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach. But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed."

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Bulls looking for new identity

The Bulls were known for the defense under Tom Thibodeau. Bulls GM Gar Forman: "But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed."

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The Bulls announce Tom Thibodeau will not be retained as coach next season. Bulls D ranked 1st in PPG allowed in 5 seasons under Thibodeau.

Bill Laimbeer picks LeBron over Jordan

"There's no question that I would take LeBron James. ... I mean, Michael Jordan could score and make big shots and look spectacular at times with wild flying dunks, but ... LeBron can get you 15 assists if he chooses to or he can score 50 if he wanted to." (via Dan Patrick show)

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OTD: Larry Bird wins 3rd straight MVP

On this date in 1986, Larry Legend became just the third player to achieve the feat (Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain). Eleven days later, he would lead Boston to an NBA championship over Houston.

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Hard to topple the MVP in the Finals

This is the 31st instance that a player won the MVP award and then went on to make the NBA Finals that same season. They are 22-8 in those series.

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Warriors can't rely on same formula

J.A. Adande writes that in fairy tales, the magical ride ends with a parade. But in Golden State's reality, it still has to face the big bad wolf. Room to improve

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Can Barnes be a LeBron-stopper?

Brad Daugherty predicts that Harrison Barnes will be the Warriors' best option to defend LeBron James in the NBA Finals.

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LeBron's had quite a half-decade

Lebron James will become the third player to play in both the NBA Finals and All-Star Game in five consecutive seasons. The other two are Celtics legends: Bill Russell and Bob Cousy.

Mychal Thompson: Klay was 'woozy'

Klay Thompson's father told Mike & Mike that his son threw up a couple times after being hit in the head in Wednesday's Game 5. But the long break before the Finals will help with his concussion symptoms.

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Time off will benefit Cavs and Warriors

Marc Stein said the long rest before the NBA Finals will give all players time to heal various injuries -- and provide time for Golden State to figure out how to deal with LeBron James.

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Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Either David Blatt or Steve Kerr will become the first rookie coach to win the NBA title since Pat Riley in 1982.

A lot has changed since 1975

What the world looked like the last time the Warriors were in the Finals:

  • U.S. president: Gerald R. Ford
  • NBA and ABA had not yet merged
  • 3-point shot did not exist in NBA
  • No player on the Cavs or GSW had been born
  • Steve Kerr was 9 years old

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

It's important to note that James Jones is also making his 5th straight NBA Finals appearance but did not actually play in the 2011 Finals.

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

LeBron James is playing in his 5th straight NBA Finals. He's the only non member of the 1950-60s Celtics to play in 5 straight NBA Finals.

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

The one week break for the Cavs and GSW is the most consecutive days off prior to the start of Game 1 of the NBA Finals in league history.

ICYMI: Riley Curry back at podium

Stephen Curry brought daughter Riley with him to the postgame media conference. Later, he told Sage Steele on SportsCenter that Riley was the star of the series and that it was only fitting she get another shot at the podium.

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Warriors favorite to win NBA title

Both teams easily dispatched their conference finals opponents, but Golden State has ESPN's BPI (and Vegas') confidence heading into the finals.

Steph trumps Harden -- who's next?

After taking down James Harden, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol -- all on this season's All-NBA 1st Team -- Stephen Curry will now face LeBron James (the other member of the All-NBA team) and the Cavs in the Finals. Curry will be the first player in NBA history to face each of the other four members of the All-NBA 1st Team in the same postseason.

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