Unless the incomparable LeBron James can somehow summon up an absolutely unworldly, super-human performance in the next few days, the Golden State Warriors will soon take home their second NBA championship in three years.
Sure, the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have only played one game in their best-of-seven title showdown, with Game 2 set for Sunday. But that one game was very telling as far as Cleveland's chances to repeat as NBA champions.
And at this juncture, those chances look about as good as that proverbial snowball's hopes for survival in … well, you know where.
Indeed, barring an injury to Golden State's Steph Curry or Kevin Durant, or another bizarre incident in which the Warriors' multi-talented but loose-cannon forward, Draymond Green, gets himself suspended again for purposely hitting LeBron or somebody else in the Bolomboys like he did in Game 4 of last year's NBA Finals — which caused a huge momentum shift in Cleveland's favor — this series is, for all practical purposes, already over.
Yep — Oh-Vuh.
That Durant dunkfest in Game 1, when the Warriors scored 93 points through the first three quarters and wound up winning by 22 points, showed just how good this Golden State team can be when it's clicking on all cylinders.
After all, truth be told, after winning an NBA-record 73 games during the regular season, the Warriors probably had no business losing last year's Finals.
But Curry wasn't playing at full strength in the playoffs, former U. of U. center Andrew Bogut, Golden State's best rim protector, went down with an injury in Game 5 and could not return the rest of the series, and Green's huge mistake in judgment seemed to turn the tide.
And then LeBron stepped up, put the Cavs on his back and played like the dynamic, determined superstar that he is, helping Cleveland become the first team in NBA history to climb out of a 3-1 hole in the Finals and take the title.
But after watching Game 1 of this year's championship showdown — which marks the third straight year these two teams have tangled for the title — it seems that only a catastrophic series of events could prevent Golden State from claiming the crown.
The Warriors are just too good.
In a way, it almost seems unfair. Here's a team that won 73 games a year ago but, after losing in the Finals, added one of the league's three best players to its already gifted roster.
Durant decided to follow that old saying "If ya can't beat ’em, join ’em," and bailed on the Oklahoma City Thunder to join up with the Warriors this season. In search of an elusive league championship, he dropped 38 points on the Cavs along with eight rebounds and eight assists in Game 1.
Durant, Curry (who had 28 points and 10 assists in Game 1), Green and Klay Thompson would all be the best player on most NBA teams' rosters, and yet all four of them are on the same roster now, and it's been pretty much a foregone conclusion that, barring injury, Golden State would be the NBA's best team this year.
Thus far, the Warriors have done nothing to disprove that. And though they didn't come close to matching last year's regular-season success, this ballclub has yet to taste defeat in this year's postseason.
In the words of the late, great Moses Malone, Golden State went "Fo', fo', fo'" through the first three rounds of the playoffs, notching three straight four-game sweeps, including one against a game but outmanned Utah Jazz squad.
Now, with 13 consecutive playoff wins and counting, it seems that nothing — not even a Herculean effort by James — can stop the Warriors' relentless march to the championship.
Heck, with the way they're playing, they might even make it an unprecedented "Fo', fo', fo', fo'" run to the title with 16 straight wins.
Sure, Cleveland's got its own "Big Three" in James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, who each had solid performances in Game 1. They're the defending world champs and are not going to go down without a fight.
And yet, when it was all said and done in Game 1, the Cavs weren't even close. After trailing by eight, 60-52, at halftime, they got outscored by a decisive 33-20 margin in the third period.
And each time it looked like Cleveland might be climbing back into contention, Golden State would go on one of those sudden scoring runs the Warriors have become so famous for, quickly turning a 12-point lead into a 22-point lead in the blink of an eye.
If James can come up with a performance for the ages and somehow lift his team to another title, then he will definitely make some huge headway in that debate of "greatest of all time." He's already got a seat at the table, but it's still tough to put him ahead of Michael Jordan.
However, winning a championship against this loaded Golden State squad would close that gap considerably, and maybe even put him over the top in some people's minds.
But most likely, we'll never know.
Because, like I said, it's over.
Warriors in 5.