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LeBron James and Stephen Curry have played 22 playoff games against one another throughout their Hall of Fame careers. Each of them came in the NBA Finals. On Wednesday, the two will make not only personal history by battling in an earlier round, but also NBA history by participating in the Western Conference’s first-ever No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game, and in a way, the stakes are higher than ever between them.
In a seven-game series, the better team is going to win more often than not. James and Curry know that firsthand. But in a single-game setting? Anything can happen.
While the play-in matchup won’t have quite the same drama of a Game 7 considering the loser will have another chance to reach the playoffs, there won’t be any do-overs for the James-Curry battle. The two most accomplished players of their generation have one chance to outdo the other, and with a postseason berth on the line, they’re going to have to make it count.
So with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers set to face off with the three-time champion Golden State Warriors, let’s dig a bit further into this matchup and who, aside from James and Curry, will ultimately decide the victor. Here are three things to know as we approach one of the most exciting matchups of the postseason.
Last year was the first time in eight years that the Warriors missed the playoffs, and Curry and co will be desperate to not make it two years in a row without a foray into the post-season.
LeBron, for his part, has only missed the playoffs once in the last 15 years, with his Lakers side heading go into Wednesday’s play-in game as slight favourites.