Well here we are, arguably one of the most anticipated series in NBA history is upon us. The talk stops (for now) as both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors get ready to do battle for the third consecutive year for the NBA Title.
Before the series tips off tonight, our staff took the time to predict how they see the series playing out.
This is the series we have all been waiting for, round three between the Cavs and Warriors. This is honestly tough to predict and I really have no clue how this series will go, one minute I have a strong feeling the Cavs will win, the next I start thinking Golden State is too tough to take down. I do believe this series will go longer than most believe, at minimum the Finals will go 6 games.
For the Cavs to get past the “juggernaut out West” as LeBron James called them, there will need to be some fantastic play from someone not named LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love will have to be big, unlike last year when he was largely a non-factor.
In addition to Love, veteran players such as Deron Williams and Kyle Korver will need to contribute. J.R. Smith, who has largely been quiet this postseason, will need to have a couple big games in order for the Cavs to win.
I have said this since LeBron came back to the Cavs, he is good enough to win you two games in any series, but the rest of the team will need to step up and help win the other two games. That is the biggest key to this whole series for Cleveland.
Let’s make one thing clear, despite what players say, they hear everything. By now I am sure the Cavs have heard the disrespect thrown their way by members of the national media, which only adds fuel to the fire. Don’t get me wrong, Golden State absolutely deserves to be the favorite in the series. They added Kevin Durant to a team that already had Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
However, I believe the majority of the pressure rests on Golden State’s shoulders as they are the ones with more to lose. I am looking forward to this series, it will be tough and the Cavs will certainly face adversity. But when the dust settles I believe the Wine & Gold will be celebrating their second consecutive championship.
Cavs in 7
The Cavaliers and Warriors series will be a close one much like it was last year. I would not expect Golden State to jump out to a 3-1 series lead, as the Cavs should make this a competitive series early on. Winning at Golden State will be tough for the Cavs in the opening two games, but hopefully they can split the series. Winning in Cleveland will be a must for the Cavs. I feel the Cavs are a better team this year and should come out on top of Golden State. In order for that to happen though the Big Three and the bench is going to have to deliver the best it can. LeBron James will need large scoring games and the Cavs must play tight defense.
Cavs in 7
Some key players in this series for the Cavs will be Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. We all know LeBron will play well, but if these other players step up their game in the Finals, it will benefit the Cavs.
For the Warriors I believe Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala are the players to watch. Igoudala and Green will be the ones mainly guarding LeBron, so the pressure is on. Same with Durant, he has a reputation of coming up short in the playoffs so the pressure is also on him.
My bold predictions for the series is that Kevin Love continues hot streak and will be a huge difference maker in the series. I expect LeBron and Kyrie to play well throughout the series, but if Love can keep playing at a high level then that just helps the Cavs more.
As for who I believe the Finals MVP will be: If Cavs win — LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. It really comes down to those two playing well if the Cavs want to win. If the Warriors win then I think either Kevin Durant or Draymond Green will take home the Finals MVP honors.
Prediction: No prediction. Just as long as the Cavs win, doesn’t matter in how many games.