Missing out on the final two games will eat away at the nine-time All-Star throughout the summer but the Rockets have shown they can compete with the reigning champs. Still, even though the final outcome was inevitable, but the path there certainly wasn't.
Meanwhile, the Warriors are 12-point favorites in Game 1, the joint-largest point spread in a Finals game since 1991.
Clarkson has been a black hole offensively, and convincing him to pass the ball to another player so they can take a shot (a concept known as an assist) should be wired into his brain.
We won't know if or how Randall will have to pay up for his end of the deal until the Finals conclude, and thankfully for him, the Cavaliers' chances look rather slim - Cleveland is the biggest Finals underdog in 16 years according to Las Vegas bookmakers.
It will take a Herculean effort to beat the Warriors. But injuries happen. Curry, Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green all missed time this season, as did key reserve Patrick McCaw. Jordan Bell brings athleticism and energy, but for every good play he makes he also seems to bring a rookie mistake.
‘Solo’ stalling at the box office with $101 million four-day opening
Solo , which had the widest opening for a Star Wars movie yet, had a per-screen average attendance of only 2,100. Compare that to The Last Jedi's multiplier being 2.1, Rogue One's being 2.18, and The Force Awakens being 2.08.
This isn't rocket science - the Cavaliers need a high percentage of those shots to fall. Which means making a lot of threes.
In a postseason defined by uncertainty for the defending champions, Golden State could be without one of its top defenders as the Warriors chase a repeat title - taking on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a fourth straight NBA Finals matchup. None of those guys are back this season.
Remember how concerned the Celtics were with getting back to deal with the Cavaliers' transition game?
"We're going to have the pick of the free agents out there", Morey said.
However, as Van Gundy noted, the Finals will feature plenty of star power, which should be enough to ensure viewer interest, even if the series turns out to be as lopsided as many expect. "If I score two points or play two minutes, it's about winning".
Can the rest of this team? Just trying to get back as soon as possible. The difference is, you have guys on both of these teams that are locked Hall of Famers and they are chasing guys in that special room, and that's the difference.