Ah yes, the moment we have all been waiting for. The trilogy, the first in NBA Finals history for that matter, the Cleveland Cavaliers verse the Golden State Warriors. This is on paper set to be one of the greatest Finals we may ever see. Never have two teams been so dominant in the contemporary era up until the Finals. The Warriors went 12-0, that’s right, undefeated. While the Cavs went a mere 12-1, thanks to a lucky bounce on an Avery Bradley 3 pointer.
Will new villain Kevin Durant finally be able to dethrone the king? Will Kyrie Irving continue to dominant Steph Curry and make him call him uncle, Uncle Drew that is. How bout Klay Thomson? Will he get out of his shooting funk? And can the fervid Draymond Green control his temper? Our group of writers at Bleacher Fan will attempt to answer these questions and more. P.S better tune in on Thursday to ABC at 9 pm for Game 1, I don’t care if you hate basketball, this is must see tv.
First things first, this series is a real treat and for those anti-basketball haters out there, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not watch. I distinctly remember letting out one of the loudest yells/screams when LeBron James made that 4th quarter block on Iguodala. The first time in my life watching the NBA that has happened. I’m super excited for this series and will make it a priority to catch every minute of this series.
Here’s what I think: I think Lebron James is the best player and will take over this series, there is no more saving energy, no more excuses. He knows how good the Golden State Warriors are and has trained and prepared accordingly. This series will go 7 and I’m firmly #TeamLebron on this one. Can’t mention Kyrie too, this dude has been unreal and has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
Prediction: Cavs in 7.
Milli: In my opinion, there’s no question as to which NBA finals team wins it. I’m taking the best team with the greatest player that has ever lived. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have everything they need to win the title. A top 3 point guard in Kyrie Irving. A rebounding machine who has finally come into his own, Triston Thompson. Solid role players who can D up elite players and score when needed in JR Smith, Kyle Korver, and Iman Shumpert. All these players compliment LeBron who literally does it all. An unselfish player who wants the ball in his hands at the end of each game. The all-time leading scoring in the NBA playoffs is intimidated by no one and is aware of the hit his legacy would take if he loses again to Golden State.
Steph Curry is bar-none the best shooter in the NBA but I don’t trust him with the ball in his hands in a game 7, which I believe the series will come to. LeBron will average a triple double in the series and make Draymond Green look like an average player. The Cavs made the number 1 seed Boston Celtics look like a team that didn’t belong in the NBA, mainly due to the play of the big 3, James, love, and Irving. I don’t see them blowing out the Warriors but my money is on the Cavs in 7.
Prediction: Cavs in 7
” I know what you’re all thinking ” how, this series is destined to go 7 games, fables have foretold Lebron finally surpassing MJ by beating the Warriors again with the addition of KD.” I know you want a game 7, you need a game 7, script writers dream of this, but that’s not what you’re going to get. This series won’t be what everyone expects it to be, yes Kyrie will put up his points, LBJ will have his double-doubles, he will reach the foul line a shit ton, but I have the Warriors in 6 and here’s why … The Warrior’s bench!
Yes, the Warriors starting rotation is insane and an all-star team within itself but I love the additions of JaVale and Zaza, these two guys have fit the mold perfectly of what the Warriors needed to match up with the Cavs, not to mention with Zaza on the floor the Warriors are playing their best defense statistically.
Last year a KD-less Golden State team was a Draymond Green not kicking someone’s ballsack away from a chip, green has been a model citizen this year in the playoffs, he also has played better defensively this year than in prior years. A major key to the Warriors winning is hopefully this year hey learn their lesson and keep Stephen the hell away from guarding Kyrie and potentially having his ankles shattered into a million pieces. Warriors take it in six and we have a whole offseason of LeBron acting like a Teenage drama queen.
P.S I hope we get at least one post game interview of LeBron referencing him being a father as to why you can’t disrespect him on the court.
Prediction: Warriors in 6
Doctor D: Will the Cavs win game 1 of the NBA finals? I don’t think so. Will the Cavs win the series in 7 games? Yes. Why you, ask? Answer = LeBron James.
Here’s why. The Warriors are coming into game 1 vs. Cavs with more rest and more confidence with the addition of the 2nd best player in the NBA in Kevin Durant. Ultimately, however, LeBron James undoubtedly holds the #1 spot. Why I think the Warriors will ultimately lose the series after winning game 1, is based on many reasons, but two that I find most important.
One, Mike Brown has done an excellent job coaching the Warriors and has the team on a 14-game win streak. I do not believe Steve Kerr will be back for game 1, but his likelihood of replacing Brown after games 1 or 2 may throw off the team’s balance. Well, you’re thinking the Warriors don’t need a coach to win and my hypothesis is irrelevant, well I say fuck you and if it happens I’ll look like the genius that I am. And two, LeBron is averaging 32.5 pts/game in these playoffs, his second highest average since he was shouldering the load for the Cavs averaging 35.3 pts/game in 2009 when he was just 24 and ringless. Not only that, he is averaging career playoff highs in shooting percentage (.566) and 3-point shooting (.421), to go along with 8 boards and 7 dishes.
LeBron is in his 7th straight NBA finals and is now an underdog for the 6/8. Vegas knew what they were doing those fuckers. Let’s motivate the GOAT, then flood the gates and make a shit ton of money in the process. Yea the Warriors have Durant, but Kyrie is gonna make Curry his little bitch again for the second straight finals. Oh and a third reason for why the Cavs will win the NBA finals in that Kyrie is not in your top 5 pg list probably, and that will motivate him again to take one from Curry. 2 motivated/clutch/highly-skilled and well-rounded MEN, will take down a 4-man human centipede. Oh, and add Kevin Love (aka White Water, NBA Street Vol. 2) into the mix and voila! you have yourself another Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship. Doctor D’s final prescription: Fuck more women, and more importantly fuck Stephen Curry.
Prediction: Cavs in 7
Big T: I have the Cavs in 7 games. I think it will be the best series between them. I look for Curry and Durant to both plays amazing. But I think Cleveland’s supporting cast will be the difference. I think Korver, Shump, Williams, and Smith to all play big roles. I also think people are underestimating how well Kevin Love has been playing. This will all help them win a second straight final. Per usual LeBron and Uncle Drew will take over when they have too.
I look for Lebron to get at least 3 triple doubles and get 40 plus in multiple games. Even though I said Curry will play well I still think Irving will outplay him. I don’t know why Vegas put Lebron as an underdog again. Thought he taught them a lesson last year. Guess not.
Prediction: Cavs in 7
Sully: I have a different look than most with this Finals. I do believe LeBron James is on a mission and that Kevin Durant will play great as well. LeBron should get the beset of KD but not by too much all in all its cancel out. I see a similar situation with Steph and Kyrie, I’m sure they’ll go back and forth offensively, neither bringing much defensively. I see it as all and all another scratch, no bid advantage over either team.
The real keys to the series I think are Klay Thompson’s shooting woes, the Cavs activity on the offensive glass, Kevin Love and Steve Kerr’s health. Klay Thompson for some reason has been terrible this postseason and has never performed in the Finals. He’s shooting just 38 percent this postseason and averaged just 11 a game against the Spurs last series, half his season average. If Klay plays like he’s supposed to there’s no question the Warriors win the series, but he’s not. I also don’t see this changing with the defensive minded Iman Shumpert on him at times as well as much improved JR Smith who is real competing defensively. He did a great job on both Paul George and Demar Derozan thus far in the playoffs.
Now the glass is an area that I don’t is being talked about enough, specifically the offensive side. Golden state was third worst in the league rebounding just 75.2 percent of their potential defensive rebounds. Meanwhile, the Cavs have the persistent Tristan Thompson who was fifth in the NBA with 3.7 offensive boards a game. Green and Pachulia aren’t tall enough for the lanky yet mobile Thompson who should have his way down low. Extra possessions for the King? You’re gonna pay a king’s ransom.
Also, Kevin Love has been a beast on the boards as well averaging 10.4 this postseason and 11.1 for the regular season. The Cavs are using screens to utilize his range as well, not his post play, and is shooting a Curry like 47.5% from deep. Back in Minnesota, he would post up 20 some odd times a game, leaving him nothing on the defensive end. Now he can conserve his energy and you’re seeing an improved defender in Love who can guard Green outside as well. P.S let’s remember Love was in such a funk last year he was being benched, my how the tables have turned.
I even like the Cavs bench of Derron Williams, Kyle Korver and Iman Shumpert better. Shump will be on Klay and Curry helping stifle them. Korver is still a knockdown shooter and Derron Williams is lighting it up of late. Richard Jefferson is also a smart experienced veteran. Channing Frye if necessary is also a knockdown stretch big man. For the Warriors AI is another year older, McGee is half retarded, and McCaw/Clark doesn’t scare me. Livingston is reliable and West has a good outside shot but let’s remember the losses of Bogut and Speights are huge.
Lastly, Steve Kerr just ain’t right, it’s sad to see, but it’s reality. I don’t see him coaching much in this series maybe a game or two at most. Even if he comes back I don’t see him coaching till the end without any setbacks. I think Tyronne Lue has a much better feel of his team and what matchups work compared to newly successful interim coach Mike Brown. Also LeBron verse Mike Brown? Yeah, I’ll take LeBron. Expect a great back and forth series but I have Cavs in 6 for the reasons I listed plus LeBron the GOAT is on a mission.
Prediction: Cavs in 6
I think some of the other writer’s judgment is a little blinded by the aura of Lebron James. I get it. I really do. The guy has put on an amazing display this postseason. He’s an underdog, which for someone considered to be the best player on the planet, I can imagine would provide a little more motivation. He’s playing for his legacy. He’s playing to someday catch Michael. Face value I totally get that logic. The one problem with that is, Lebron has been those things, in his previous 7 runs to the NBA Finals. He’s been the underdog, he’s had better reasons than this year for motivation, he’s had incredible post season runs and he most definitely is always playing to catch Michael. With all of that being true, Lebron is 3-4 in those series.
The Cavs won last year, but they were one Draymond suspension away from more than likely losing in 5 games. Not trying to distract you from the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead, but that’s the way she goes. A little wrinkle this year though. Is adding the second best player in the world to your already championship roster good? Kevin Durant changes this series and this team and its not talked about nearly enough. He is their best player. He is their best scorer and aside from Draymond and Iggy, their most versatile defender.
While the Warriors offense has always been a top 2 (Spurs are equal) ball movement team in the league, they have struggled at times to create their own shots, outside of Steph Curry hitting 30 footers in people’s grills five times a night. It showed in last year’s finals. Kevin Durant solves that. Kevin Durant can score anyway there is to score. He’s meshed back into the Warriors offense perfectly since returning from injury and it feels like they haven’t lost since. They legit haven’t lost in like a month though. so there’s that.
I’m picking The Golden State Warriors. The last and by far the most important reason for why? Simple. The guys above me picking the Cavs should be quite familiar with it. MOTIVATION.
Do you remember the past year? The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead and not a second has gone by where the world has let them forget it. I’m talking 365, every day, millions upon millions of memes and tweets. The Halloween party Lebron held where you had to step over a dead Steph Curry body to get in. The list is endless. If you think the motivation to go back to back, beat an old coach or even continue the chase for the GOAT provides more motivation that the last year of life for the Warriors, you’re underestimating the power of revenge my friend. They know the mistakes they made last year, they know they shot themselves in the foot and they know they’re now armed with Kevin Durant.
The Warriors are the best offensive and defensive team in the league. Number one in offensive and defensive efficiency. And oddly enough, This postseason with Zaza Pachulia on the floor they are also the best defensive lineup. This will give Draymond the ability to follow Kevin Love around rather than being forced into being a rim protector or constantly covering help side. The Cavs, while a top offensive team was a historically bad defensive team this season. Like literally the worst of all time with their most used starting lineup on the floor. Though they have improved immensely during the playoffs. They have also yet to play the Warriors.
When both teams are playing their best, the Warriors are just flat out better. I don’t see the Warriors playing anything short of their best with the amount of hate and revenge they have flowing through their veins. Go watch the interview where Draymond says he wants to “absolutely destroy Cleveland.” That’s what I think’s going to happen. I’m going bold just like Draymond. That’s what you gotta be when you’re running the show. And Bleacher Fan is THE show.
Pick: Warriors in 5
P.S. If I’m wrong about this and the Warriors get beat, remember I’m a Knicks fan, no combination of words you can put together hurts me.