Warriors vs. Cavs Finals Preview
*Photo via NBA.com
This is it! After two grueling months of playoff action, it’s here, the NBA Finals and we have the Golden State Warriors facing off against. the Cleveland Cavaliers. The current MVP (Steph Curry) will be taking on a former MVP (Lebron James). Curry is averaging 29.3 points per game and Lebron is averaging. 25.4 points per game in the playoffs. Also, two rookie head coaches will face off in the NBA Finals.
So many questions will be answered during these finals. Will Lebron bring the championship to Cleveland for the first time in their basketball history? Will Curry complete a perfect season of winning the MVP, leading his team to the best record, and winning the championship? Will Riley Curry steal the show once again?
This series will prove to be the greatest series in this years' playoffs as most have been a letdown. The exciting three-point shooting of the Warriors mixed with the entertaining style of the Cavs should make this series one of the better finals in recent years.
The Cavs had an unchallenging run to the finals. They swept the Boston Celtics in the first round, beat the Chicago Bulls in six games, and swept the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their overall record is 12-2 in the playoffs.
The Warriors also had a similar run as they swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, beat the Memphis Grizzlies in six games, and finished the Houston Rockets in five. Their overall record is 12-3 in the playoffs.
For both teams, this is where the true test begins. They both have advantages and disadvantages against each other that can make the series go either way.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a few advantages over the Warriors in this matchup. The Cavs have better rebounding, particularly offensive, as Tristan Thompson has been a rebounding force in the playoffs and Timothy Mozgov is no joke either. The Warriors are a decent rebounding team, but it will be tough to win the boards with the way Thompson has been playing.
Another advantage the Cavs have is that they have the best player in all of basketball, LeBron James. This helps them for two reasons. First, LeBron is so impactful that he can adjust to any team quickly and can figure out what he needs to do to win. Secondly and more importantly, Lebron is the only key player in this series who has been to the NBA Finals. With Lebron being here and having won already, he puts the Cavs in great position because of his experience.
However, the Cavs have some disadvantages as well. With the exception of Jr Smith, the Cavs have virtually no bench. This is crucial because the Warriors have, arguably, the best bench in the league. The Warriors can use their bench to keep their stars healthy and put more pressure on the Cavs. LeBron averaged 37.7 minutes per game in the series against the Hawks. If he continues that in the finals it may cause problems for the Cavs as the Warriors have multiple wing defenders to tire him out.
The Cavs have one x-factor that can be the difference between them losing or winning and that's Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving was injured in the last series and his health is questionable for this series. If healthy, the Cavs have a great chance at beating the Warriors. Irving's first year in the postseason has been great for him as he has had some huge games. If he continues to produce the Cavs are unstoppable.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have some advantages working for them too. They are excellent at shooting the three. The Atlanta Hawks had a lot of good looks in their series against the Cavs and if the Warriors get open we all know that spells trouble for the Cavs.
They also have versatility. The Warriors have great players in every position as they are one of the more complete teams in the NBA. The Cavs lack depth, so the Warriors can play big or small and their second unit will dominate against the Cavs’.
Their disadvantage, however, is their inside game. Bogut hasn't had a bad playoffs considering he's rebounding well and averaged 1.5 blocks per game. However, Bogut is going to have to be more effective in the paint to contend with Mozgov and Thompson. They are quick and attack the boards relentlessly, which may be a problem for the Warriors.
The X-factor for the Warriors is their defense. They were up and down in their series against the Rockets. In one game, they held them to under 100 points and in another they let them score 45 points in a quarter. If they can play consistent defense and somehow slow down LeBron, they will be in great position to come away with the championship.
Nevertheless, this should be a fantastic series for both teams. The Cavs and Warriors only played in two games this season with the Cavs winning on February 26th, 110-99 behind Lebron James’ 42 points and the Warriors winning 112-94 on January 9th. So far, it looks to be an even series.
NBA Finals Schedule:
Game 1: 6/4 @9
Game 2: 6/7 @8
Game 3:6/9 @9
Game 4:6/11 @9
Game 5:6/14 @8
Game 6:6/16 @9
Game 7:6/19 @9
This is an even series so it's only right that the NBA Finals goes to seven games. I believe the Warriors will find a way to become champions this year. The Cavs have injury questions and a lot depends on their health. The Warriors will win in seven.
The NBA Finals begin June 4th on ABC!