THE Cleveland Cavaliers will meet the Golden State Warriors in a historic NBA Finals 2017, which tips off on Friday (Manila time). For the first time in NBA history, the same two teams will face each other in the Finals for the third consecutive year.
Cleveland and Golden State have split their Finals series the previous two seasons. Last year, the Cavaliers earned their first NBA championship in franchise history, becoming the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win The Finals.
That avenged their loss to the Warriors in six games a year earlier.
Here is a look at the NBA Finals 2017, which will reach fans live in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages on their television, computers, mobile devices and tablets.
· 3 – This year’s Finals will mark the first time that two teams will meet for the NBA title for a third consecutive season in the league’s 71-year history.
· 61 – The series between the Cavaliers and Warriors will be the first time in 61 years that teams in any major North American professional sport league will meet for the third straight time with a championship on the line.
· 4 – Across the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, Cavaliers-Warriors marks the fourth time that two teams will play for a championship for the third year in a row (NFL – Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions, 1952-54; MLB – New York Yankees vs. New York Giants, 1921-23; NHL – Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadians, 1954-56).
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
· 11 – The two teams feature a combined 11 players who have been named All-Stars, the most in a Finals series since the 1983 matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers.
· 12 – The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to win their first 12 games in a single postseason.
· 7 – Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James of Cleveland is set to become the seventh player in NBA history to play in The Finals in seven consecutive seasons.
o The other players to accomplish the feat played for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 1960s: Bill Russell (10 straight Finals appearances), Tom Heinsohn (nine), K.C. Jones (eight), Sam Jones (nine), Frank Ramsey (eight) and Bob Cousy (seven).
· 30 – Two-time Kia NBA MVP Stephen Curry’s No. 30 again leads the list of most popular NBA jerseys. This marks the second straight regular season that the Warriors’ guard has earned top honors.
· 1,000 – Golden State and Cleveland are two of the three franchises (along with the Houston Rockets) to make 1,000 three-pointers in an NBA regular season.
o The Warriors converted 1,077 three-pointers last season, which is the second-highest single-season total in NBA history. The Cavaliers hit 1,067 threes this season, which is the third-highest mark ever. (Houston holds the record after connecting on 1,181 threes this season.)
· 2 – Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue is looking to become the second head coach in NBA history to win championships in each of his first two seasons. The only coach to do it is John Kundla (Minneapolis Lakers, 1949 and 1950).
The Finals on ABC
· 9 – Mark Jackson will serve as a Finals analyst for the ninth time, the most by any African-American analyst in history for a nationally televised Finals.
· 8 – This year will mark the eighth time that the team of Mike Breen, Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke will call a Finals together.
· 21 – NBA TV’s studio analysts on site have appeared in 21 Finals (Shaquille O’Neal: 6; Kevin McHale: 5; Isiah Thomas: 3; Kenny Smith: 2; Brent Barry: 2; Charles Barkley: 1; Steve Smith: 1; Dennis Scott: 1).
· 90 – Live At The Finals, NBA TV’s 90-minute pregame show, will air each game day during The Finals.
NBA Social Media
· 1.3B – The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team and player platforms.
· 90M – LeBron James is the most-followed NBA player on social media with 90 million followers combined across Facebook (23.1 million), Twitter (36.4 million) and Instagram (30.5 million).
NBA Finals Around the World
· 265 – More than 265 international media members from more than 35 countries and territories will be on site to cover The Finals.
· 16 – Sixteen international television and radio networks from Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East, Philippines, Poland, Spain and Taiwan will provide live onsite commentary.
· 14 – Fourteen television networks will broadcast The Finals remotely for the first time: GreatSports Channel (China), DAZN (Germany), LeSports (Hong Kong), DAZN (Japan), Kwesé Sports (Pan-Africa), NBA TV – MEO (Portugal), Russiabasket.ru (Russia), Eleven Sports Network (Singapore), Aftonbladet.se (Sweden), Elevensportsnetwork.tw (Taiwan), AIS Play (Thailand), NBA TV – Turkcell TV (Turkey), S Spor (Turkey) and VTVcab (Vietnam).