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Jerry Sullivan: Hurry, get it over with and start the Finals

On Sunday, the host of a national sports radio program gave a thumbs-up to Game 3 of the Warriors-Spurs series because it "wasn't unwatchable."

That's what qualifies for high praise for the NBA playoffs nowadays -- a game that demands your undivided attention for more than two hours, one that doesn't compel you to flip over to a cooking channel or go walk the dog.

Keep in mind, that Warriors-Spurs game, which put Golden State up 3-0 in the Western Conference finals, was basically over after Kevin Durant scored 16 straight points to put his team up by 18 late in the third quarter.

The Warriors won, 120-108, which was fairly typical of this year's dull, dreary postseason. Heading into Sunday night's Cavaliers-Celtics game, there had been 70 playoff games this spring. The average margin of victory was 13.4 points.

More than half (41 of 70) had been decided by 10 points or more. Make a wish and blow out the Celtics. The Cavaliers beat the Celts by 44 in Game 2 of the Eastern finals, a record for a conference final. The Cavs won their first 10 games by the league average of 13.4 points.

Golden State has won 11 in a row by an average of 16 points a game, which is even higher than their regular-season point differential of 11.6, the fourth-highest in NBA history. The Warriors drilled the Spurs by 36 in Game 2 of the Western final.

What happened to home-court advantage? Ten of the 12 completed series have ended on the loser's court. Golden State finished off the first round by 25 in Portland and the second in a 26-point rout in Utah. The Spurs finished off their conference semifinal series with a 39-point rout at Houston.

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This can't be good for the game. It's not uncommon for teams to roll in the  playoffs. But it's far more interesting when the top teams are tested in the early rounds. I think back to my favorite playoffs in 1988, when the Lakers and Celtics were both taken to seven games in the second round.

But I can't remember a postseason so devoid of drama. Injuries haven't helped. A number of key players have gone down this spring, including Toronto's Kyle Lowry, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Chicago's Rajon Rondo and Utah's Rudy Gobert.

Any chance the Spurs had to upset the Warriors in the West were dashed when Kawhi Leonard reinjured his ankle in Game 1. Isaiah Thomas is done for the year with a hip injury, draining whatever drama might remain about the Cleveland-Boston conference final.

It seemed predetermined that the Cavs and Warriors would become the first teams to meet in three straight Finals. You hoped for some stirring battles along the way. But aside from amazing individual efforts by Leonard and LeBron James, I can't recall any truly memorable moments.

The Cavs and Warriors have played with cold, unrelenting purpose in the playoffs, as if  competing with each other. As each rolls along undefeated, the other seems obligated to keep pace, unwilling to show weakness and cede any possible advantage to their real rival.

Two teams had never started 10-0 in the same NBA playoffs. It has lent the posteason a merciless inevitability. Opposing teams are mere nuisances, peons to be dusted aside as the two feared gunslingers make their way toward the middle of town for the main battle. To think, one of them has to lose four times.

OK, so the conference finals aren't over yet. But even Yogi Berra would be ready to turn the channel. The NBA Finals don't begin for 10 days yet -- on Thursday, June 1 -- but you can't blame hoop fans if they're weary of the prologue and itching to see the Cavs and Warriors go at it a third time.

Jeff Van Gundy, the voluble ESPN analyst and ex-head coach, asked during Saturday's telecast if they could play best-of-11 in the Finals. Remember, it was Van Gundy who declared before the playoffs that "Golden State is your champion. No one is going to push them."

Something tells me he's gathered more respect for Cleveland's chances after watching James storm through the pretenders in the East.

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It's the Cavs who wear the crown, after all. Critics assumed the Warriors were too good for them last year, too, only to see James will his team to its first NBA title after falling behind 3-1 in games in the Finals.

James is playing the best basketball of his life at the moment. How anyone could leave him off the all-NBA first team is beyond me (though I appreciate a single, dissenting opinion). LeBron isn't playing only against the field. He's now playing against history, and Michael Jordan's legacy.

That's what will make a Cavs-Warriors final so compelling. Durant jumped to Golden State to chase a title and repair his reputation as a clutch player. He knows what it would mean to beat James, and even more so, how it would look if he failed to win it with one of the most talented teams ever.

The Warriors are the best offensive team of their time, a sublime collection of passers and long-range shooters. They'll also underrated on defense. What can you say when a player like Klay Thompson is the fourth-best guy on his team?

As well as the Warriors have played this spring, they seem to be toying with teams at times. The Spurs were exposing them before Leonard's injury in Game 1 of the West final, but they were bound to hit their stride and would have taken control of the series even if Leonard wasn't hurt.

The Warriors have been waiting almost a year to atone for last year's collapse. If they have another gear, James is the guy to bring it out of them. It would make for a great series, one that had fans glued to their TV sets for two weeks.

After suffering through so much forgettable basketball over the last six weeks, they have it coming.

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