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No, TFM is not my “real job,” but it’s unequivocally the funding source of my gambling addiction. I’ve made a rule with myself that only the funds procured through the creation of smut-ridden, anonymous internet “columns” can be funneled through the black hole of despair that is Bovada.
But with basketball season ending, months until the first kickoff, and only the complete crapshoot that is regular season baseball filling July and August, I’ve decided to take a stand. Today I have wagered every dollar in my gambling account on the NBA Finals. Not a single game, but on the series itself.
So now that we’re one game into the Finals, here are 23 peculiar facts to keep in mind before initiating your own Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moment:
Warriors Center Anderson Varejao is the only player in NBA history guaranteed to receive a Championship ring. Varejao, the only player to ever suit up for both Conference Champions in a single season, was cut by the Cavs to make room for Channing Frye.
The Cavs and Warriors are on pace to attempt, and make, more threes than any pair of Conference Champions in postseason history.
The Cavs and Warriors will be the only Finals matchup to ever feature two teams that completed half of their respective regular seasons with a different head coach. (Luke Walton, David Blatt)
In a strange role reversal, the Cavs are actually shooting a better percentage from beyond the arc than the Warriors this post season.
The Warriors, however, are holding opponents to a lower field goal percentage, no matter how hard Toronto tried to inflate Cleveland’s defensive statistics.
If the Cavs win, Tyronne Lue and Steve Kerr would be the only first-year coaches to ever win back-to-back NBA Championships.
The last time the City of Cleveland won a championship in any major sport, LBJ was the POTUS. And no, I don’t mean LeBron James.
Amazingly, the last Cleveland professional sports team to win a championship was the Browns.
This year’s matchup will feature the top two selling jerseys (Curry + James) on opposite teams for the second consecutive season, an NBA first.
Last season, the Cavaliers started Matthew Delevadova, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgof, James Jones and Lebron James in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Only Lebron is expected to start today, while Mozgof and Jones have combined to average less than four minutes per game this postseason
The Cavaliers would be the most expensive NBA roster to ever lose a playoff series.
Statistically, no player has ever improved his scoring and shooting percentages more after his fifth completed NBA season than Warriors Guard Stephen Curry.
David Blatt, who led the Cavs within two games of a Championship sans Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving last season, is now coaching in Turkey.
If the Warriors win the NBA Finals, they will have won more total games in a single season (including playoffs) than any team in the history of the NBA.
Winning three Finals games will tie the Warriors with the ’96 Bulls for the most single season wins of all time.
LeBron James is not the only player participating in his seventh consecutive NBA Finals. Reserve Forward James Jones has played with LBJ in both Miami and Cleveland during all seven trips.
If LeBron were to lose the 2016 NBA Finals, he and the aforementioned Jones would share the worst Finals winning percentage of any player participating in seven or more NBA Finals.
The average StubHub cost of floor seats to Game 4 in Cleveland is more than half the median annual income for an actual Cleveland resident.
During the four years LeBron spent in Miami, the Cavaliers suffered the worst four-year stretch in the history of the franchise, twice “earning” the number 1 overall pick.
For the first time since the inception of the modern NBA Draft format, both #1 overall picks of the Cavaliers combined to play less than 50 games for the team that drafted them.
Luke Walton, who will become the youngest NBA head coach after the series when he officially takes over the Lakers, last played for the Cavaliers in 2013.
LeBron James, listed as a forward, has not fouled out of a game in nearly three full seasons, while playing the sixth most total minutes of any player in the league.
Draymond Green is the only starter for either team that was not selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The Cavaliers are the oldest team in the Eastern Conference, and never has a team with that distinction won the NBA Finals under its current format.
While the above proves this is an absurdly odd series, to say the least, here is my pick for financial glory, or utter despair: Cleveland in 6. LeBron gets his third..
Image via YouTube