NBA Finals Preview
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER THE CAVS AND WARRIORS ARE PLAYING IN THE NBA FINALS!!
Jus kidding, here we are again.
But did we really think we would be?
Lets face it if you lived in Toronto, you thought the Cavs were getting kicked to the curb by the Raptors. If you lived in Boston, you thought the Cavs would get kicked to the curb by the Celtics. With the way Lebron and Co’s season started, with the failed experiment that was Isaiah Thomas the Cavs brought in the likes of Jordan Clarkson and George Hill, it wasn’t looking like James would make his 8th straight finals appearance.
Yet here we are. For the fourth year in a row.
Last season both teams cruised to a 24-1 record to the Finals, however this year it wasn’t the case. Cleveland was taken to game 7 in two rounds this year. The Rockets took the Warriors to game 7, and Golden State had to fight it out with the Spurs to make it this far.
Lebron has been “clutch” when he was needed the most, averaging 34.0 points, 9.2 boards and 8.8 assists, and played 94 of the 96 possible minutes.
The Warriors have won the last two of three finals matchups, but this matchup of two teams meeting in the finals in four straight seasons is something that has never actually happened in professional sports.
The last time two teams came close was the New York Yankees and the New York Giants from 1921-1923, the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens from 1954-1956, and the Cleveland Browns (seriously) and the Detroit Lions from 1952-1954.
The experience on the Cavs is undoubtable. Lebron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and shirtless JR Smith will all be making their fourth straight Finals appearance. They have a combined 494 games of Playoff time between them. TO round it off Kyle Korver has 137 postseason games under his belt, and George Hill has played in 98 career Playoff games. New additions to the Cavs Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr are making their first time appearances in the Finals. A far better record and team than the 5-7 10th place in the East Cavs in early November.
With the amount of offensive star power each team possesses, it’s their defense that has gotten them to this point. The Warriors held the Rockets to under 100 points in five straight games, which hasn’t been done in the regular or postseasons since November of 2014. The Cavs are allowing 99,9 points to opponents this season, the second lowest of all 16 playoff teams.
The Warriors do, however, have an overall record of 11-7 against the Cavs, and in this playoff run have outscored their opponents, 519-389, in the third quarter – a 130-point difference.
For me, the Cavs have shown great improvement after their less than stellar start to the season. But I believe the Warriors have to much star power to lose a 3-1 lead ever again. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night.