The worst-kept secret in sports has finally arrived.
Defending champion Cleveland, led by the incomparable LeBron James along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are back to defend the land in the third consecutive Finals vs the Steph Curry/Kevin Durant “superteam”, the Golden State Warriors.
Here are some of our staff predictions on who will take this rubber match.
Scottie: Cavs in 7
Why: A few reasons…one, I picked the Cavs in 7 last year and I’m striving for consistency. Two: As formidable as the Warriors look, a few things should concern them: what is the effect of needing to be the primary defender on LBJ on KD’s offensive contribution? How reliable is the Warriors’ bench? We know all about ‘15 Finals MVP Iggy, David West is a steady guy…but is Javale McGee smart/aware enough to stay on the floor in critical moments, which he will need to. What will they get from Zaza? Can Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw provide shooting and steady minutes off the bench?
I’ll go farther and say I just have a gut feeling that LeBron is going to get at least one more ring (my guess is two before he hangs them up). Kyrie is a huge problem for Steph and as we’ve seen, forcing Steph to really guard (steady diet of pick and roll/pop w/Love is my suggestion) can have an effect on his offense. The wild card is going to be when Klay goes Super Saiyan and wins a game on his own…which WILL happen, and also, how well Mike Brown makes adjustments in critical moments.
We’ve gotten the “three-match” we’ve been waiting for and I know the Dubs will be revenge- minded, especially with KD still needing a ring to get off the “Greatest Player Without a Ring” list, but in the words of one of my favorite musicians, P.J. Morton, “I’m sticking to my guns”.
Cavs in 7.
WARRIORS IN SIX, DAMMIT!!!!
The NBA’s first version of Ali vs Frazier!! What a time to be alive!!!
It’s simple. Steph is healthy, unlike last year. Draymond saved all his techs up for this series. The Warriors have the best defense in the league. The Kevin Bleepin’ Durant. Nowhere to hide a defender in this series. Warriors are the first team to have two MVP’s under the age of 30 to be on the same team. Four all-stars. It is a daunting task for the King, and I don’t think this year he’ll be able to climb that mountain.
Yeah, he did it last year…but this ain’t the same team. At all. Silver lining? You’ll see the same damn match-up again next year so, there’s that. CHEERS!!!!
We finally got here!
After all the crap throughout the off-season with Durant choosing to work in Oakland instead of Oklahoma and LeBron whining during the regular season that his team needed “help”, we have finally arrived to this moment.
Everybody on both rosters are in great health which wasn’t the case in the previous two Finals match ups and both teams are playing their best basketball at the moment. We shall see shortly if the extended break before the Finals catches up to either squad.
There is one key to this series IMHO, the Cavaliers defense.
If the Cavs bring maximum effort and make it difficult for the Warriors to score with relative ease, this will be a long series, remember, the Cavs do have LeBron James on its roster.
As free flowing as the league has become offensively, last year’s Finals was won because Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were much better ISO scorers than Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were when it truly mattered. That alone gives the Cavs a much better shot than people want to believe.
But, I’m going with the Warriors in 6.
Durant is just a super-matchup problem for anyone on Cleveland to guard on a consistent basis.
Can I just flip a coin? Like, seriously… I have no dog in this fight. But if I have to make a prediction, I’m going with Bron (I will never add the “Le” to his name, that ninjer ain’t French).
Cavs, in 6…ji 7, Moe. Kill.