NBA Finals

Steph Curry has cheeky prediction for Warriors-Cavs rematch in Chicago bubble

Steph Curry has cheeky prediction for Warriors-Cavs rematch in Chicago bubble

If the NBA goes forward with a second "bubble" in Chicago this fall, the plan would include two teams who were innately familiar with one another last decade.

The Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers played one another in four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018, but the league's once-mighty cross-conference rivalry has, uh, fallen just a bit over the last two years. The Cavs immediately returned to the league's cellar when prodigal son LeBron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Warriors joined them there this season after Steph Curry played just five games and Klay Thompson played none.

A rematch of the NBA's preeminent Finals matchup of the previous decade doesn't sound very appealing, especially for a meaningless set of exhibition games. Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. attempted to drum up enthusiasm any way he could, and Curry responded with a (not really) bold prediction of his own.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Warriors' second matchup with the Cavaliers this season never happened, since the NBA paused the season due to the coronavirus pandemic about a month before the Cavs' scheduled first trip to Chase Center on April 8. Golden State handled Cleveland without Curry on Feb. 1, beating Nance and Co. 131-112.

That bodes well for any lowly-anticipated rematch, as it's hard to imagine Curry making the trip to the Windy City. The Warriors reportedly wouldn't have let Curry play in Orlando had Golden State been asked to finish its season, and those games would have had some meaning. Curry -- or Thompson and Draymond Green, for the matter -- participating in a reportedly voluntary training camp with exhibition games doesn't seem realistic.

[RELATED: Warriors could try to add these six under-radar free agents]

It's also unclear if a second bubble will actually happen. NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh tweeted Thursday that a source said they'd be "surprised" if the eight teams not participating in Orlando actually got together, and another said there was "definitely no consensus" among the Warriors, Cavaliers and their eliminated peers.

In the meantime, at least we have jokes.

Why Warriors losing Game 7 2016 NBA Finals was so crushing for Greg Papa

Why Warriors losing Game 7 2016 NBA Finals was so crushing for Greg Papa

Father’s Day is on Sunday, which always brings up great memories with your dad or the special male figure in your life. But for NBC Sports Bay Area’s Greg Papa, it brought up a recent flashback that perhaps he would like to forget.

During Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, Papa brought his entire family with him to watch the event. An event in which he was sure the Warriors would win it all. Well, that didn’t happen.

“We all thought that day, the greatest team we had ever seen in the history of the NBA, the 73-9 Warriors would complete the last 48 minutes required to win the championship.”

It was a storybook comeback ending for the Cavs, who completed a three-games-to-one comeback over Golden State, which would end a 52-year championship drought for the city. That comeback was the first time it had ever been done in the history of the NBA Finals.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
 

The Cavs’ 93-89 victory in Game 7 was highlighted by LeBron James' block on Andre Iguodala and Kyrie Irving hitting the game-winning shot over Steph Curry in the waning minutes. That was a sentence Warriors fans weren’t used to uttering or even thinking about.

So Papa ended up witnessing history, but for the other team.

“Nobody thought they were going to lose the game,” Papa added.

[RELATED: Matt Barnes explains why 'We Believe' Warriors doc went on back burner]

The faces his daughters made outside of Oracle Arena after the loss signified that.

“That was a hard Father’s Day,” Papa said. “I mean, it was probably the most memorable game I’ve ever been at, because when I think of that dynastic run, and then I think of Father’s Day 2016, the NBA Finals seemingly -- Game 7, if there is a Game 7 comes up on Dad’s Day or ‘Papa’s Day,’ but I remember that day being LeBron James Day.”

Warriors' Steph Curry more efficient in playoffs than Michael Jordan

Warriors' Steph Curry more efficient in playoffs than Michael Jordan

The only prize missing from Steph Curry's trophy case is a NBA Finals MVP award. The Warriors' superstar point guard is a two-time NBA MVP, three-time champion and six-time All-Star. 

Don't let that Finals MVP omission fool you, though. Curry has had plenty of great moments in the Finals, and has been a star in the playoffs as a whole. He has been so good in fact, his career 55.8 effective field goal percentage in the playoffs is greater than the likes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who won two Finals MVPs as Curry's teammate in Golden State. 

That's right. Better than Jordan, better than LeBron. Better than KD. Well, at least in effective field goal percentage. 

So, what is effective field goal percentage? It adjust field goal percentage to show how much more a 3-pointer is worth compare to a player just making 2-pointers. It's no surprise than that the greatest shooter of all time from beyond the arc would perform so well by this measure. 

Even last postseason where the Warriors were without Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson and even Andre Iguodala at times, Curry still had a 54.8 eFG. In the Finals last season, Curry still averaged 30.5 points, 6.0 assists and 5.2 rebounds against the Toronton Raptors while Golden State battled a flurry of injuries. 

[RELATED: Kerr shares great Steph story in Eagles' virtual meeting]

Over his 11-year career, Curry has played in 112 playoff games. He has averaged 26.5 points, 6.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 40.1 percent from distance. 

Curry still is waiting to hoist the Finals MVP trophy. His impact on the game in the playoffs, however, should never be questioned.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]