OAKLAND, US: Five facts about Sunday’s (Monday in Manila) decisive final game of the best-of-seven NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and defending champion Golden State Warriors:
1. Only two of the past 31 NBA Draft top picks have won an NBA title with the team that drafted them, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and David Robinson. But if Cleveland wins the crown, 2003 top pick LeBron James and 2011 top pick Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers would double that total.
2. A Warriors victory on Father’s Day would make Golden State guard Klay Thompson and his father, Mychal, the second father-son combination with multiple NBA titles. Mychal won titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1987 and 1988. The only father-son duo with more than one championship each now is Luke Walton with the 2009 and 2010 Lakers and his father Bill Walton, who won with the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and 1986 Boston Celtics. Luke Walton is a Warriors assistant coach and next season will be coach of the Lakers.
3. Golden State’s Steve Kerr could become only the second coach to win the NBA Finals in his first two seasons as a league coach, matching John Kundla of the Minneapolis Lakers in 1949 and 1950. Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue could become the sixth active NBA head coach with a title, joining Kerr, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, who guided the Boston Celtics to a crown. Lue would win a title in his first season as an NBA head coach, something that had not been done in more than 30 years until Kerr last year.
4. The Cavaliers would be the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals. But to do so they would have to also have to impose the first three-game losing streak on the Warriors in Steve Kerr’s two seasons as coach. Golden State’s most recent three-game losing skid came November 20-23, 2013.
5. The Warriors and Cavaliers will meet in the 19th game seven in NBA Finals history, with home teams holding a 15-3 edge in past deciders. The last time a road time won the NBA Finals was in 1978 when Washington beat Seattle. The Boston Celtics won two finals game sevens on the road, in 1974 at Milwaukee and in 1969 at the Los Angeles Lakers.