Love says it´s funny to consider Cavaliers underdogs

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love wants to remind people who the defending NBA champions are.

As the Cavaliers and Golden State prepare to meet in the NBA Finals for the third straight year, the Warriors are the prohibitive favourites.

“The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because at the end of the day we are defending our title,” Love told reporters as the Cavs prepare to meet the Warriors in Oakland in Thursday’s game one.

“We’re trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It’s tough for me to say that is the case. I don’t feel like we’re underdogs. We match up well with them, and I think they’d say the same about us.”

The Warriors were strong favourites last year after setting an NBA record with 73 wins during the regular season.

But Cleveland came back from a 3-1 series deficit to win their first-ever NBA championship.

Golden State have yet to lose during the playoffs this year, sweeping their way to the NBA Finals after posting the best regular-season record (67-15) for the third straight season.

After missing out on consecutive titles last year, Warriors forward Draymond Green said he wants his team to “destroy” and “annihilate” the Cavs in this season’s Finals.

“He’s competitive,” Love said of Green. “He’s one of the most competitive players in the league, and he kind of spoke this into existence.

“He’s a guy who said he wanted us, and he has us starting next Thursday, and you know he’s a guy who brings it every single night. So now, with the way the Finals went down last year, if I were in his shoes, I would want the same thing.”

Green could be the difference maker this year to complement the Warriors’ top trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.

Curry said he does not want the Cavaliers, led by Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, to have any fun in June.

“For the most part, you know what LeBron does, you know what Kyrie does,” Curry told reporters.

“You know kind of their style and familiar with that. Other than that, I think when you look at the whole squad, they have a good kind of chemistry and vibe. It looks like they’re having fun, and we want to do something about that.”

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