It’s finally here: the NBA Finals matchup that we all knew would happen. The Cleveland Cavaliers vs the Golden State Warriors, part III. This has the potential to go down as one of the best NBA Finals matchups in NBA history. Although, my favorite is the 2013 Heat-Spurs back and forth matchup.
How did we get here? Let’s quickly took a look at Cleveland’s path to the NBA Finals:
No, really, I could leave it at that.
The Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 51-31 record, securing the 2nd seed, behind the Boston Celtics (53-29). Some were concerned with the Cavaliers entering the playoffs. In my Skip Bayless voice impression, the Cavaliers finished the season 23-23 over the last 46 games. Well, the thought of them struggling through a “weak” Eastern Conference was quickly put to rest, as an Avery Bradley game winner was the Cavs only playoff loss.
Now, let’s quickly look at Golden State’s path to the NBA Finals:
The signing of Kevin Durant made Golden State an essential lock to make the NBA Finals. The Warriors had no problems in the regular season, securing the 1st seed in the Western Conference, with a 67-15 record. Portland and Utah had no chance of knocking the Warriors out of the playoffs. Then came Gregg Popovich and his San Antonio Spurs. Long story short, the Zaza Pachulia dirty play knocked out Kawhi Leonard for the rest of the series. Spurs were up 23 AT Golden State before Pachulia’s reckless play. I really believed that the Spurs would have won in 7. Anyway, the Warriors made it to the NBA Finals with a perfect 12-0 record in the playoffs.
So, what happens starting June 1st?
The Warriors are heavy favorites over the best player in the league, LeBron James, who is making his SEVENTH consecutive NBA Finals appearance. And, honestly, I do not see how, and I’ll explain:
- I don’t watch Golden State much, but I only see them run 3 or 4 plays. They have some great players, but, in a simple offense.
- The Cavaliers are much deeper, and the case can be made that the Cavs have the advantage at PG, SF, PF and C.
- The bench. The Cavaliers have Deron Williams, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. The Warriors? The only factor I see is Andre Iguodala. No disrespect to the other bench players.
- I think LeBron James wants this more than ever, and more than any other player in this year’s Finals.
My heart says Cavs in 5, but I’ll play it safe, and pick the Cavs in 6.
Game 1: Cavaliers 103, Warriors 93
Game 2: Warriors 107, Cavaliers 96
Game 3: Cavaliers 110, Warriors 95
Game 4: Cavaliers 96, Warriors 92
Game 5: Warriors 113, Cavaliers 100
Game 6: Cavaliers 105, Warriors 99
NBA Finals MVP: The King. Putting up numbers along the lines of 38ppg, 9rpg and 8apg.