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NBA Title Round Notes, Comments And A Shaky Prediction

May 27, 2017

The inevitable NBA Finals (the NHL title round is the Stanley Cup Final, the corresponding NBA series is “the finals,” with the NHL usage being correct) battle between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and top ranked (for a third straight season) Golden State Warriors, has manifested for a third straight season, a first in NBA annals.

The teams went a combined (24-1) to reach the final (note the usage), with top ranked Golden State going (12-0).

 

This upcoming Cleve/GS final will be the fourth title round clash between the same team for three consecutive seasons, one in each major North American sports entity and no matter who wins, on all four occasions one team will have evoked “Meat Loaf’s” song and won two of three, which is much better than “not bad.” In fact, making three straight final rounds and certainly winning one of three, is also better than “not bad.”

The first such instance was in baseball from (1921-1923) as the New York Giants won the first two. I regret, as I do so many things regarding my father (talk to your parents and if possible have them record a narrative about their lives and those things meaningful to them and you!!) never asking if he had any recollections of the ” Frankie Frisch, Johnny Rawlings, High Pockets Kelly involved double play, that clinched the Giants World Series win over the Yankees in 1921. They won again, without losing a game in 1922.

The next year, the Yankees had their own home, Yankee Stadium and topped the Giants, as they also did in the next/last four World Series battles to date (’36,’37, ’51 and ’62).

The Yankees a stellar (27-13) in World Series play lost in their next World Series, (yes the great Grover “Pete”/Cleveland Alexander did fan Tony Lazzeri in the Series’ big spot, but “Poosh Em Up” (Lazzeri) was also great  in his playing career,) before winning in a mind blowing 15 of their next 16 W.S. appearances.

Speaking of Cleveland, the city, not Mr. Alexander’s middle name, they were involved the lone time the same teams met for the NFL crown in three straight seasons, the Detroit Lions winning in ’52 and ’53 before the Browns won in ’54.

As was the case in the other two league final round contests between the same teams for three straight seasons, the lone instance in NHL play manifested in one team (twice a Detroit team has won two straight title round entities against the same team, before losing in the third straight season clash) the Detroit Red Wings winning vs the Montreal Canadiens in the first two final round battles, (Tony Leswick a distant relative of 1986 #7 World Series winner, Len Dykstra, scored in overtime of game 7 in 1954 and the Wings again 7’d the Habs in ’55) before Montreal began the greatest run, as the greatest NHL team, with the first of 5 straight title wins (’56-60) by topping the Red Wings in the 1956 Stanley Cup Final.

After so many tangents and I hope some reasonably interesting info, (at least it is accurate, unlike a recent otherwise fine Sports Illustrated piece on Cleveland in 1954 and much of what that entails, in which it was disseminated that “Dusty” Rhodes #1 ’54 W.S. game winning HR was hit to left, when of course it was hit to right), I offer one more tidbit and a shaky prediction on the fourth such series.

Above, without identifying him, I referenced Grover Cleveland, a United States president.

Alas, as cited in the other three such situations, one team won the first two before losing the third. This Cleve/GS has and will be different as the teams (GS in ’15 and Cleve, aided immeasurably when Silver suspended Green in ’16) split the first two final round meetings.

Since Mr. Cleveland won the presidency in 1884, lost in 1888 but won it in 1892, only Golden State, technically can “pull,” or at least evoke, Mr. Grover Cleveland, (win, lose,win), the only man or woman for that matter, to win a presidential election, lose one and then win one.

I say 12 to 5 favorite, Golden State  will “pull a (Grover) Cleveland,” by winning in six games.

 

Grover Cleveland, pictured above.

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