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NBA Finals Preview
NBA Finals Warriors vs Cavaliers
The NBA Finals are upon us and although the Thunder gave us a brief scare we ended up where most expected that we would, Warriors and Cavaliers, Curry and LeBron. James has made a career out of going to the Finals by positioning himself in an inexplicably week decade for the Eastern conference and some people think this is the supporting cast to help him win his third title, but I am NOT one of those people. I think LeBron’s greatness will get the Cavaliers a couple of wins in this series and even a game seven, but they will not be knocking off the Warriors and James’ Finals record will fall to a pathetic 2-5.
The Cavaliers are undoubtedly more talented then they were in the finals last year where two of their “Big Three” were injured and LeBron James was forced to carry the team essentially on his own. There in lies the big question about this series, what impact will Irving and Love have on this series? Cavalier supporters, and do not let the odds fool you there are quite a few of them out there, believe this will be a difference maker because LeBron can facilitate and other guys can shoulder the scoring burden. Cavalier supporters love to site their 10-2 record in the playoffs this year. Do not forget that both Love and Irving are liabilities at the defensive end of the floor. Is that going to be obvious against teams like the Raptors, Hawks, and Pistons? No, because none of those teams have any offensive prowess so it is easy to hide Irving and Love. Last year their replacements were strong defenders, Delly did a superb job guarding Curry to the point where he was not in the conversation for finals MVP and Mozgov did a good job protecting the rim. While those players cannot score like Kyrie or Love they are a massive upgrade at the more impotant end of the floor. There is nobody for Kyrie Irving to guard in this series plain and simple. Do you put him on the two time MVP and scoring champion Steph Curry? Or do you put him on the Warriors 2 guard, the 6’7 Klay Thompson? This is going to be a massive problem for the Cavaliers the entire series. Aside from individual players the Cavaliers have not been as impressive as most people have been tricked into thinking over the last month or so.
The Cavaliers and their leader, James, have hidden themselves in the dismal eastern conference, but they are unable to hide from the numbers. Cleveland beat up on the bad teams going an impressive 30-4, but where decidedly unimpressive when going up against teams with a record above %500with a record of 27-21. The Cavaliers struggled with the upper echelon of the NBA and I would consider Golden State, the team with the best record in the history of the NBA, in said upper echelon. Cleveland lost 2 of 3 in Toronto, which is not necessarily an easy atmosphere to play but the Cavaliers should not have struggled there and it certainly does not compare to how raucous Oracle area will be on June 2, 2016.
The Warriors matchup extremely well with Cleveland because they are one of very few teams with defenders that can physically and athletically match up with the great LeBron James. Andre Iguadola was good enough against King James last year to win series MVP. They also have defensive player of the year runner up Draymond Green. This allows the Warriors to play LeBron one on one so that the other defenders can stay glued to guys like JR Smith and Kevin Love on the three-point line. The Cavaliers have shot an impressive percentage from three-point range but expect to see that drop immediately against Golden State.
I wanted to get my own personal points out of the way before I dove into the obvious statistics that are at everyone’s disposal in the modern era. There is nothing complicated about this match up, the Warriors have won 5 straight games against Cleveland and since this is a gambling article, Golden State not only beat the Cavaliers in all five of those games, but they also covered the spread in 4 of them and only missed by a half point in the other.
Preediction: Warriors in 7
Published 1st June @ 22:07