After all the chatter and predictions from the start of the season, here we are with the two best teams in the league duking it out in a fight for the ages. After witnessing the greatest regular season in history, the playoffs have been a dud. Will Durant win his first ring? Can LeBron get his fourth? Will Curry finally play well in the Finals? Would JR Smith wear pants if Cleveland wins? These questions have their own storylines that need answers. Come on in and let’s get to it and uncover the series everyone has been waiting for.
We start with the reigning champs in Cleveland, where we see a revamped bench that will be the determining factor if the Cavs were to win starting with Deron Williams. His veteran leadership and the ability to back down his defender will help lead the second unit that will need to provide important minutes while some of the starters get their rest. Next on the list is Kyle Korver, along with Williams is playing in his first finals. Korver will provide superior shooting from the perimeter that the Cavs will need to keep pace with the Warriors. If Korver can even give a shred of defense on key possessions with the second this would provide a huge spark off the bench that will be vital to make this an even series that we expect it to be.
Which Kevin Love will show up? To spread the Warriors defense thin Kevin Love will have to show up and give the Cavs the three-point shooting they will desperately need. If Love averages twelve points eight boards and 30% shooting from three the Cavs won’t stand a chance. This Cavs team starts and stops with LeBron James, LeBron will need to use his supreme athleticism to get to the rim and need his outside shooting touch to work as well. Limiting LeBron to fewer than 8 free throw attempts will be an important thing to watch for. Letting LeBron take as many jump shots he wants you can live with and is a defensive victory.
Golden State has enough firepower to make any coach have nightmares including Cleveland’s Head Coach Tyron Lue. In a battle of the benches Cleveland has a small edge but what the Cavs don’t have is someone who at any time can provide excellent defense on the other team’s best player in Andre Iguodala. This is vital for players like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson who will need a rest guarding James and Iguodala is more than capable of filling that void when needed. Can JaVale Magee keep up his excellent play? He could potentially be in the game when it’s super important to sustain or keep it a close game and don’t be surprised if he plays minutes vs Tristan Thompson. That will be a battle to see if the Warriors best hustle bench player can beat the best offensive rebounder in the league at his own game.
Newcomer to this series Kevin Durant will determine if the Warriors will win this series or not. If we see the offensive juggernaut he is then the Warriors will win this series. If they must rely on Curry to carry the offense then this can be a tossup. Durant is a match up nightmare for anybody on Cleveland, Durant is too long and fast for Love, Lebron is in year fourteen so he won’t guard Durant all game long like he did when the Heat beat OKC in 2012. The only hope is to have Korver guard him. Oh wait, that is as likely to happen as Brooklyn making the playoffs next season. Wasting energy on the defensive end will affect Lebron later in the series and will tip the scales heavily in the Warriors favor. Overall Golden State will prove to be too much for Cleveland to overcome despite the dreaded Mike Brown coaching in absence of Steve Kerr. My prediction is Warriors in six, Durant will get his first ring and JR Smith will have to wear clothes. Leading up to an important free agency period and the most important NBA draft since 2003 to start what could prove to be a pivotal summer for so many teams.