NBA Finals Preview
Golden State Warriors
The Rubber Match
Everyone has been waiting for this finals and it is finally here. The Trilogy, the rematch, NBA’s present Rivalry. Predictions are all over the place with Vegas’ odds showing the Warriors to win in 6. Yes, the Cavs are being called underdogs, and LeBron and company love it! This year includes a former MVP now playing for the Warriors, Kevin Durant. Will Durant and LeBron give a battle for the ages? Will Curry once again steal the stage with marvelous pull up 3’s from a mile away, or will it be a hidden x factor or newly acquired Veteran that steals the show?
Lets take a look at the player match-ups to help us decide.
Advantage/Disadvantage by position
|Kyrie Irving||Disadvantage||Stephen Curry||Advantage|
|J.R Smith||Disadvantage||Klay Thompson||Advantage|
|LeBron James||Advantage||Kevin Durant||Disadvantage|
|Kevin Love||Disadvantage||Draymond Green||Advantage|
|Tristan Thompson||Advantage||JaVale McGee||Disadvantage|
|Coaching Staff||Advantage||Coaching Staff||Disadvantage|
PG/ Kyrie Irving vs Stephen Curry
The battle of speed, handles, and ultimate shot making. Curry makes some incredible shots as we all know and really pushes the tempo for the Warriors. If Curry can establish his rhythm from deep, you can forget about it. I believe Kyrie will get his, but Look for Curry to slightly outpace Kyrie up and down the floor and force the Cavs to make several switches leading to open shots.
SG/ J.R Smith vs Klay Thompson
The battle of shot making. J.R and Klay will be a great matchup to key on. Klay hasn’t quite been in form lately and really takes a back seat now to Curry and Durant, but if you can drop 60 in a single game you are always a threat. I like Klay’s advantage here due to his toughness on the defensive end. The Warriors take away the 3 and that’s J.R’s cup of tea. Look for J.R to be contested all over the floor as Klay locks down on defense and let’s his superstars take over on the other end.
SF/ LeBron James vs Kevin Durant
The battle of the superstars. Everyone’s matchup they have been waiting for! Everyone wants to know, Can Durant finally live up to the hype? The former MVP has been enjoying a spectacular offensive season with averages of 28 Points and over 8 rebounds per game and arguably his best defensive season ever! Unfortunately for Durant, he is going up against something different, the best of all time. LeBron has been unhuman like this postseason averaging 30 points or more in 11 of the Cavs 13 postseason games. Bron Bron’s Rebounds and Assist are also higher this year compared to his career averages! This dudes a monster and to bet against him is suicide.
PF/ Draymond Green vs Kevin Love
The Battle of the paint and Stretch Big men. Both Green and Love Excel from the perimter especially for big men. The difference here is that Draymond is a triple double threat every game. Everyone shouts on how great of an outlet passer Love is, but it’s Draymond Green who can outlet pass and make remarkable passes from any spot on the floor! With the ability to knock down key shots, hit the glass and distribute the rock, Green has a huge advantage on Love. Pretty similar here to J.R Smith, Loves key factor is that he can stretch the floor and get smoking hot from down town, but again, against a team that guards the 3 ball better than any other, look for love to be contested and uncomfortable all series long. Advantage Draymond.
C/ Tristan Thompson vs JaVale McGee
The battle of the Glass. I put JaVale here instead of Zaza because of his ability to crash the glass and play above the rim. Tristan Thompson just dominated Al Horford and the Celtics and put up 18 points and 13 rebounds in a closing game 5. If the Warriors wish to compete on the glass they will have to play McGee extended minutes, which still won’t be enough. McGee will get a few razzle dazzle alley oops but in the end it will be Thompson’s steady diet of rebounds and tip ins that will win this battle.
Bench/ Cavaliers vs Warriors
Bench play has been a key factor for both teams this year. The Warriors have been able to get away with Shawn Livingston and Andre Iguodala taking over the last few years, but not anymore. Both have seen there numbers drop steadily this season and the Warriors have really relied upon the starting crew through much of the season. You must have a solid bench that can come in and execute when your starters take a rest, And no team has done a better job building a bench than the Cavs this year. With the likes of Kyle Korver and Deron Williams, this bench is now a veteran squad that can come in and control the game and give quality minutes while the starters rest. The Last few finals for the Cavs, we saw a sloppy a Mo Williams and an unreliable Matthew Dellavedova. This year we will see true Veterans that still have enough pace, and that fit the coaches game plan well. Advantage goes to Cavaliers this year!
Coaching Staff/ Steve Kerr & Mike Brown vs Tyronn Lue & Larry Drew
This one is tougher because with a healthy Steve Kerr AND a healthy Mike Brown, it’s no question to me that the Warriors have a better coaching staff. However that is not the case, Kerr appears doubtful at this point to be on the sidelines for the Finals due to complications from his previous back surgeries. Mike Brown has done a great job filling in for Kerr, but an awkward situation it must be on him. With Tryonn Lue being dubbed the “players coach” and LeBron and Kyrie always commenting on his acknowledgement for life and understanding, the Cavs must feel like they have the edge here knowing Kerr is out(yes people, they think of this stuff). Larry Drew (a former 10 year NBA player) excels in timeouts and pregame strategy and is given credit by the entire team day in and day out. The cavaliers coaching staff will show out in the finals this year more than the ever!
The Fresh 5
Top 5 players in the Finals
- LeBron James – no doubt here, LeBron is a superstar and all around Stud. Did you really just say he’s better Than M.J? ( Yes I did)
- Kevin Durant – One day he will be considered #1, but not while LeBron is around, amazing player and phenomenal insticts, would already be considered one of the best ever if he grew up in any other Era.
- Stephen Curry – the 3rd of the three MVP’s, never have we seen a player change the game from a shooting perspective like this guy has done.
- Kyrie Irving – Uncle Drew is always brewing up an ankle breaker, someone load up on ice packs!
- Draymond Green – you either love him or hate him, but no one is better at getting inside your head and shutting down a coaches game plan.
NBA Finals Schedule
|Game 1||Thursday, June 1||ABC- 9:00 P.M|
|Game 2||Sunday, June 4||ABC- 8:00 P.M|
|Game 3||Wednesday, June 7||ABC- 9:00 P.M|
|Game 4||Friday, June 9||ABC- 9:00 P.M|
|Game 5*||Monday, June 12||ABC- 9:00 P.M|
|Game 6*||Thursday, June 15||ABC- 9:00 P.M|
|Game 7*||Sunday, June 18||ABC- 8:00 P.M|
Vegas Bet – Warriors in 6
My prediction – Cavaliers in 7
Written by: Tim Phillips aka Tim2Fresh on the Fantasy Life App