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If Warriors continue to dominate Cavs in Finals, would it really hurt the NBA?

If Warriors continue to dominate Cavs in Finals, would it really hurt the NBA?

Everyone already jumped the gun with the conjecture and what-if questions, even before the Golden State Warriors silenced the home crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.

What if the Warriors, who lead 3-0, win in a sweep? Is Kevin Durant overtaking LeBron James as the league's best player? Are these Warriors better than any team Michael Jordan beat to win his six championships? Is this series hurting the league and is it even worth watching?

According to Nielsen ratings, through two games on ABC this was the most watched NBA Finals since 1998. Including streaming, the live audience is an average of 19.6 million which is 5% higher than a year ago. After Game 3, the series is averaging a 12.8 metered market rating which is up 4% from 12.3 in 2016.

There's the prevailing attitude from those that cover the game that this is bad for basketball. For the third year in a row, the same two teams are playing for the championship. 

Both teams are the product of an arms race. James joined Kyrie Irving and pushed for the deal that brought in Kevin Love to give them a big three after he left behind Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade with the Miami Heat.

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Golden State appeared content after winning the 2015 title in six games until it blew a 3-1 lead in 2016 to lose in seven. That led to Durant jumping ship from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join forces with his conqueror in the Western Conference finals.

It rubbed a lot of people beyond Russell Westbrook the wrong way. Those emotions are all understandable. 

Now all of a sudden, the Cavs, who stacked their team by busting the salary cap to be in this position, are the victims and the Warriors hold an unfair advantage. How many times since the Warriors won 132-113 on Sunday have you heard the hot take that "LeBron has no help." 

The same players who helped him bring Cleveland its first major championship in 52 years -- Love and Irving are All-Stars -- suddenly have morphed into Sasha Pavlovic and Donyell Marshall. 

J.R. Smith is still around though his three-point shot has evaporated. Tristan Thompson, who signed a $82 million deal in 2015, is now a liability trying to keep pace with the small-ball of Golden State.

These players not named LeBron haven't been as effective and he's wearing down late in games. Defensively, the Cavs were atrocious during the 82-game regular season when the Warriors finished 16 games better than them. Realistically, what did you expect to change? That's who they are.

James had 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Irving had 38 points, Love 13 rebounds and six steals and Smith 16 points with five-three pointers in Game 3 and the Cavs still lost.

There really haven't been any major surprises. The Warriors have held to form and held serve at Oracle Arena, which should be expected for the home team with the league's best overall record. They closed with an 11-0 run Wednesday to win 118-113. That's who they are. 

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If they sweep, the viewership will likely remain high because the meltdown in Cleveland will be riveting TV. It also would be a spectacular development because it would mean unless a seismic shift takes place with the Cavs in the offseason, James probably isn't winning another championship as long as the Warriors' core remains in tact. 

It would move Durant that much closer James as the best player in the league argument but he has a long way to go in an all-time sense. He'd have to sustain it for longer than one season and his greatness will be soldified when he deals with adversity head-on and doesn't elope to greener pastures.

That might not happen to him soon but think of how James elevated himself by leading the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit to the first time in Finals history. 

This matchup probably isn't hurting the league anymore than all of those Lakers-Celtics matchups hurt them them in the Finals, or Michael Jordan with the Bulls or Shaqulle O'Neal and Kobe Bryant with the L.A. Lakers. Like those days, this series has star power and high scoring which attracts casual fans who love big events. Parity has been an issue for the NBA for years and all the tweaks in the collective bargaining agreement haven't done much to change that as long as there is a "soft" salary cap.

Viewers either still despise James for his "Decision" in 2010 to leave Cleveland for Miami or they detest Durant for his Hollywood Hogan-like heel turn.

A series blowout wouldn't be a travesty. It just would be a fitting end to a postseason that was atypically non-competitive from the opening tip, and all eyes will be on Game 4 Friday to see if Golden State can win its second title in three years on the road. And can they do it by sweeping the King out of his own castle. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Tim Frazier

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Tim Frazier's season...

Player: Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Age: 27

2017-18 salary: $2 million

2017-18 stats: 59 G, 14.2 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 76.7 FT%, 44.5 eFG%, 105 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/27 at Hawks - 4 points, 14 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2-for-5 FG

Season review: The Wizards tabbed Tim Frazier to be their backup point guard nearly a year ago when they sent a second round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans on the eve of draft night. They viewed Frazier as the solution to their years-long search for a capable backup behind John Wall. Frazier had thrived as a replacement starter in New Orleans and the Wizards saw him as worth a draft pick, even though he had just one year left on his contract.

Frazier began the season as the primary backup point guard, but ultimately lost the job to Tomas Satoransky once Wall went out with a left knee injury. Frazier became the starter and Satoransky the backup, but through two weeks Satoransky outplayed him and became No. 2 on the depth chart once Wall returned. Then, when Wall went down for months late in the season, Satoransky started and Frazier backed him up.

Frazier never found consistency as he moved back and forth between roles. His minutes, points and assists averages were all career-lows.

The Wizards added competition to their roster for Frazier and Satoransky midseason, first by signing Ramon Sessions in March and then adding Ty Lawson just before the playoffs began. That led to Frazier being inactive for four of the Wizards' six postseason games.

All in all, it was a frustrating year for Frazier. He even had to deal with a broken nose and surgery to repair it after getting inadvertently kneed in the face by Bobby Portis in a game against the Bulls in February.

Frazier has been part of small group of Wizards players continuing to work out at the team facility this summer. He has been there along with Wall, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith. That said, it does seem likely Frazier returns given how the Wizards used him this season. He was completely out of the rotation for extended periods of time.

Helping his cause in that regard is that the Wizards have his Bird rights, meaning they can re-sign him while going above the salary cap. They currently have five open roster spots and not much money to spend. Frazier could represent a cheap option and help them fill out their roster.

Potential to improve: Shooting, on-ball defense, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

Ty Lawson, PG

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Markieff Morris goes 1-on-1; no All-NBA votes for Beal?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Wizards power forward Markieff Morris. Morris looked back on the 2017-18 season and gave his side on what needs to be fixed.

Chris and Chase Hughes also had a heated debate about Bradley Beal not receiving any All-NBA votes. Chase is an awards voter and defended his ballot. Chris wasn't having any of it.

They also went into the conference finals and what it would mean if the Rockets beat the Warriors.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!