It’s finally here. The matchup everybody wanted is officially set in stone. We’re getting the rematch, even though about a week ago it didn’t seem that way. The Warriors once again made history this season by becoming the tenth team in league history to overcome a 3-1 deficit and advance to meet the Cavaliers who made it there fairly easily. No matter the difficulty of the routes each took, the rematch is here, and the sequel will be legendary.
So it’s only right we start with these two.
The legend vs the legend in the making. The four time MVP vs the reigning unanimous two time MVP. The top two players in the league are going at it once again, and this Finals will be made or broken on the backs of these two superstars.
We might have to start calling him The Answer. Every doubt, every question thrown his way, he’s answered.. emphatically. We questioned his ability to be a starter in this league.. he became arguably the best player in it. We questioned his MVP candidacy.. he came back the next season and won another. We questioned the legitimacy of his championship run.. he leads his team to the best regular season ever and runs through the Western conference once again. Now he has one more question.. can his team beat a healthy Cavalier squad?
This. Is. It. Everything for LeBron comes down to these Finals. The city of Cleveland needs this championship, but if anything needs it more, it is LeBron’s legacy. LeBron is in rarefied air becoming the first starter in 50 years to advance to six straight finals (the media has been saying player, but that is wrong, James Jones also has been to six straight Finals) , but he is in dangerous territory to enter an even rarer stratosphere: Becoming the first MVP to lose five Finals. Last year he had an excuse, he pretty much played with the equivalent of the New York Knicks after losing Kyrie and Klove. Without them, LeBron churned out arguably the greatest Finals performance in NBA history with averages of 36, 12, and 9 which led him to being the first player in NBA history to lead both teams in those categories. Now he’s back in the Finals with his whole team healthy behind him. It’s been rumored LeBron personally wanted Steph and the Warriors, the question is did he bite off more than he can chew?
The Warriors are heavily favored to win this title, and rightfully so. They have the momentum after coming back against OKC in the West Finals and honestly they have the better team. Along with having the best point guard in the league, they have the best two guard in the league and it is undeniable now. Everyone was witness to what Klay Thompson did in Game 6 and even though Draymond struggled for most the west finals, Cleveland has been a team he has continually abused. For Golden State to win this series Draymond must once again dominate his matchup against Kevin Love. He must take advantage of Love’s lack of defensive ability while simultaneously preventing him from going off on the other end of the floor.
X Factor: Death Lineup
Ironically the Death Lineup was birthed this time last year. Steve Kerr decided to start Iggy and we know the rest from there. This lineup abused the Cavs last year. The lineup of Curry, Klay, Iggy, Draymond, and Harrison Barnes proved to be too quick, too fast, and too lethal from behind the arc for the Cavaliers to handle. Trust Steve Kerr to go to this lineup almost immediately, and if they can get off once again, another banner will be hanging from the roof of Oracle .
The Cavs are back, but much different from last year. They will be rolling into Oracle Arena with both Love and Kyrie and hopefully it’ll remain that way for the whole series. It also helps that Kyrie and Love are both are playing some of the best basketball of their careers. Love seems to have finally found his role in the offense averaging 17 and nearly 10 rebounds a game. Kyrie on the other hand is finally looking like the Kyrie we’ve become accustomed to; he’s averaging 24 points per game along with 5 assists. Oh yeah, he’s shooting 48 percent from the field and a blistering 45 from deep. We know LeBron’s gonna show up, but for Cleveland to win this series Kyrie and Love will have continue to put up these number, in all reality they just might have to better them.
X-Factor- Cleveland’s Bigs
The Warriors gravy is going small so it’s no surprise that the play of Cleveland’s big men will be a telling sign of the way this series goes. Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and Channing Frye have gotten the bulk of minutes this post season, but I believe the big man who will be the most important to Cleveland has barely seen the floor, Timofey Mozgov. With the size of Bogut and his shot blocking prowess, Mozgov should see a ton more minutes. He will be tasked with guarding the seven footer on the other end and hitting his open opportunities LeBron will create for him. Kevin Love must also step up.. on both ends of the floor. He needs to be able to find his offense and at least do a respectable job on Draymond, plus Channing Frye’s ability to stretch the floor will be huge this series.
So who wins?? WhyToby?
We’re in for a treat, let me just start off with that. Yes I know the last time these two teams saw each other, the Cavs got beat so bad they fired their coach, but if you honestly believe we’re in for a repeat of that this series.. you’re an idiot. This has been a completely different Cavs team under Tyronn Lue . They successfully integrated Kevin Love into the offense and they are a much better shooting team now. The problem is Golden State is still Golden State, and what makes it worse is they are four games away from the perfect season, so you already know they will come hard, very hard. This whole team wants to prove that they can beat the Cavs healthy… it just won’t happen this year.
I’m picking the Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals. I’ve lived off the believe that if LeBron can pull out two games by himself, aren’t Kevin Love and Kyrie worth at least two? I’m not worried at all about Kyrie, the one thing I noticed about Kyrie is that if he ever comes to play, it’s during big games. Before his injury in game 1, Kyrie had 23 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. He loves the big moment, if anything I’m scared he might have a better finals than LeBron.
But at the end of the day, it comes down to LeBron. I know it, the world knows it, and I know LeBron knows it. He needs to show up and I have absolutely no doubt he will. His legacy is on the line, he knows he can’t lose another finals, especially to LeBron. He’s heard the disrespect all year, he’s heard the “Curry is better” chatter all year, and by the end of the series he will have shut it up once and for ALL.
Cavs in SIX
Game 1: Cleveland
Game 2: Golden State
Game 3: Cleveland
Game 5: Warriors
Game 6: Cleveland