Before I get into the Cavs Vs. Warriors let me touch on a few things on the teams that lost to them. The Raptors took it to six which no one expected by playing inspired ball on their home court with the help of Lowry , DeRozan and the emergence of Bismack Biyombo who has made himself a lot money this offseason from his performance. The Raptors will have a nice core returning next season with a healthy Jonas coming back. But I wonder if they can attract any bigger free agents to come there since they have failed to do so in the past. Add that to DeRozan’s impending free agency when the Lakers (his hometown ) will be most likely calling and I would be willing to bet he would leave. Personally I wouldn’t DeRozan on my team just because his lack of a 3pt shot, and now he flat-out doesn’t take them. But I’m sure the Raptor fans out there would be bummed breaking up their best team ever including this super fan, who I’m sure you’ve seen if you have ever watched a Raptors game. His name is Nav Bhatia and he has been a season ticket holder for 21 years and he is also a really good dude. By giving out the rest of his many season tickets to bring hundreds of underprivileged children to the games every year.
Now onto the Thunder who by all accounts looked to be firmly in control of their series versus the Thunder until a devastating loss at home in-game 6. I felt that after that loss the series would be over going back to Golden State at home. The Thunder’s late decision-making came back to bite them the final two games. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise since they led the league in 4th quarter collapses this year even beating the woeful Sixers in that category. But this postseason they looked like they had finally turned the corner and put those days behind them. Also in games 6 and 7 their second half scoring was abysmal including a 12 point third quarter in game 7, you just cannot expect to win with that kind of output. Going forward for the Thunder I think they are in a good position with Durant’s free agency looming. They have a young coach who is only going to get better. There isn’t a team that could he could go to that would give him a better chance to win like the Thunder unless you believe those Warriors rumblings are true. I say just sign the 2yr deal with an option to opt out after 1 which will also be Russ’ last season under contract too. They have great pieces with emerging pieces like Adams and Kanter. They do need to tweak their roster some because at this rate the Thunder now will be the new age version of those 90’s Jazz teams with Stockton/Malone, in that they continually get to the apex but just can not seem to conquer it. I do think they should deal Ibaka to get back some more shooting and draft picks to bolster their roster. Although I would like to see Durant next to a pass first point guard like a Chris Paul. I just can envision the dynamic pick and rolls those two could unleash on the league.
Now finally we get to the main course, and what a dish it is between the Cavaliers & Warriors. This will be the 14th time in NBA history that The Finals will be a rematch of the previous season. The runner-up has won the rematch in seven out of the 13 re-matches, but they’ve won six of the past seven so this bodes well for the Cavs.
The Cavs will be entering the finals at full strength unlike last season and they will have the shooting to back it up. The finals features the top two 3pt shooting teams ever to go against each other in the finals. The individual matchups will be interesting as usual with Kyrie probably guarding Curry exclusively because they wouldn’t want him to guard Barnes or Iguadala because of the mismatch guarding them in the post. Tristan Thompson will need to make more of an impact in this series against the smaller Warriors team than he did against the Raptors and he must make them pay on the offensive glass. They won’t be able to defend the Warriors like the thunder did with their mobile 7ft’ers so they will try to outscore them, and they can be able to pull it off winning the on the offeensive glass. LeBron can basically go 4 out and him driving in creating for himself or dishing it to an array of shooters. He is the best driver in the league as well as one of the best passers to an epic 3pt shooting team (No one team EVER has made more threes in the playoffs than them). Finally if the Cavs really want to win they have to capitalize when Golden State goes cold and step on the gas to get as much of a lead as possible. Because a 10-15 pt lead is only 5 or 6 shots from the Warriors and POOF its gone.
The Warriors on the other hand with just a couple of nights rest will not be rusty and looking to make a statement in-game 1 which is the opposite of what they did against the Thunder. Now they know just how quickly things can change after losing game 1 on your home court. Can we get more Klay Thompson pub?! The guy has been absolutely lights out this post season , especially when Curry went down with mcl sprain and in game 6 against the Thunder when he shot literal fireballs on his way to 11 threes.
Bogut will be very important this series because of Bron’s ability to dominate the paint and without Bogut playing at high level it will be a long series for dubs fans. I wonder if Draymond can keep himself from getting another technical since one more will mean an automatic suspension and that could be more than enough to swing the series. I’ve talked about how great Curry has been this whole year and he just keeps proving it by going for 36 in-game 7 just solidifying his Boy Scout bad motherfucker badge even more. Steve Kerr may also want to put out a BOLO on Harrison Barnes because that guy has disappeared from second halves of games this post season run.
There is a lot on the line for this finals legacy wise, on one side you have the Warriors attempting to do something that hasn’t been done before and if they accomplish it they can begin to compare themselves to the better dynasties the league has seen , and arguably on the path to being one of the greatest teams ever. Then on the other hand you have LeBron who has been to six consecutive finals which has never been done before in the history of the Association. Then there is the added pressure on Bron bringing a title to Cleveland which hasn’t been done since Jim Brown was truck sticking folks in the 60’s. There will be a lot of history on the line this time around and with each team at full strength it will be a pleasure to watch. I’m going to ride with the Cavaliers in 6 games because as my friend Darren pointed out earlier this week that