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Jordan Clarkson And 7 Other Unlikely NBA Finals Virgins
There are so many first-timers in Cavs-Dubs IV, and it's a treat for fans of the sport
by John Paulo Aguilera | May 30, 2018
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The modern-day rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers lives another day in the 2018 NBA Finals.

Same teams, but somewhat different players, especially for the Cavs. Kyrie Irving has left for Boston, the player traded for him was traded midseason, Matt Barnes and James Jones have already retired, JaVale McGee is now a champion, and only five from Cleveland's 2017 runner-up lineup will return to the last round: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, and Kyle Korver.

The defending champs, led by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have kept their roster almost intact—still, there are a couple of new faces among the Dubs. Whether these Finals first-timers will make an impact on their respective squads remains to be seen.


DEBUTING DUBS

Kevon Looney

Years in the NBA: 2

Despite being drafted by the Warriors two years ago, Looney didn't get the chance to aid his team in their previous championship runs due to injuries. Finally healthy, the big man from Wisconsin is raring to be that inside presence against Thompson and Love, like when he held his own versus Anthony Davis during the conference semifinals.

Quinn Cook

Years in the NBA: 3

The undrafted guard wandered around the NBA Developmental League before he was signed by Golden State this season as an insurance policy at floor general. True enough, Cook has filled in admirably for the injured Curry, even posting a career-high in points (30). Don't be suprised to see the third-string PG out there in crucial moments.

Nick Young

Years in the NBA: 11

Young was initially viewed as another reclamation project like former teammate McGee, and to be honest, he hasn't done anything remarkable to sway public opinion. Following a solid season with the Lakers, Swaggy P jumped on the Warriors bandwagon. His playing time may be the lowest since his rookie year, but you can't take away his shooting.

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CAVS CUBS

Jordan Clarkson

Years in the NBA: 4

The Fil-Am combo guard is one of the many young first-timers from the Cavaliers (Larry Nance, Jr., Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman). Clarkson has proven to be a significant contributor off coach Tyronn Lue's bench, especially with the ability to create his own shot. Once he becomes more steady and efficient, this won't be his last Finals trip.

George Hill

Years in the NBA: 10

After clashing with him as a Pacer and falling for (God knows how) many times in the playoffs, Hill must love going to war alongside James for a change. The 10-year veteran needs to be more than at his 100 percent, particularly on the defensive end, for the shaky Cleveland backcourt to even stand a chance against its juggernaut counterpart.

Jose Calderon

Years in the NBA: 13

Here's hoping the Spaniard can use his championship experience in international competition to win his first chip in the NBA. That is if Calderon leaves the bench in the first place. Although he has unlocked the Cavs offense every time him, LeBron, and Love share the floor, the 36-year-old has picked up several DNPs (did not play) this postseason.

Jeff Green

Years in the NBA: 11

From almost not being able to play because of a heart condition, Green will face his 2007 draft batchmate and fellow ex-Supersonic Durant. The 6'9" forward has been plagued with inconsistency throughout his career, and teaming up with the best player in the world did him a huge favor—if his last two games versus the Celtics were an indication.

 

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