LeBron James knows beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the second straight year will be a challenge, especially after they added Kevin Durant to the mix. However, James feels he stacked up pretty well against super-teams in the past, including the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs team that had five Hall of Famers.

James has been on six underdog teams in the NBA Finals, but, for the first time since facing the Spurs in 2007, James enters the NBA championship series with his team trending as a +200 underdog or more, according to Las Vegas betting odds.

Cleveland the underdogs?

Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook pegged the Cavaliers as a +210 underdog, while analytics site FiveThirtyEight gave the Eastern Conference champions only a 10 percent chance of winning the NBA Championship this year.

During a media interview following Sunday’s team practice at the Cavs' training facility, LeBron said he’s aware that this year’s Warriors are different from last year’s squad. Kevin Durant’s presence certainly makes them a lot more dangerous offensively. However, the four-time NBA MVP believes he already experienced playing against a team as talented, if not more talented, than the Warriors in past finals.

“It’s probably up there,” James said of facing the Warriors’ superteam via ESPN. “Obviously I played against four as well too. You know, Manu, Kawhi, Tony, and Timmy on the same team. And if you have Pop in there, that’s five Hall of Famers, so you know it’s going to be challenging. Those guys are going to challenge me and they gonna challenge our ballclub.

This is a high-powered team.”

James faced the Spurs in the NBA Finals thrice in his career. The first meeting took place in 2007, when the (-360) favorite Spurs manhandled an inexperienced James and the Cavs in four games. Then, there’s the epic seven-game series in 2013. James, who was then playing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, needed a clutch 3-point shot from Ray Allen in Game 6 to extend the series and win his second straight NBA championship.

However, the Spurs returned the next year a lot stronger and completed a 4-1 thrashing of the Heat.

Experience and depth could make the difference

James hopes his experience will help him against the Warriors, who sealed their place in the NBA Finals with an unblemished 12-0 record and the largest winning margin (+16.3) in NBA playoffs history.

"Inside the NBA" analyst Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley already made their picks for the NBA Finals, and both predicted the Cavs to beat the Warriors in their trilogy because the Cavs have more depth on their roster. The 2017 NBA Finals will begin on Thursday, June 1 at 9 p.m. EST from Oracle Arena in Oakland.

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