NBA Finals 2017 Preview: LeBron James Vs The Greatest Postseason Team Of All-Time
The NBA postseason thus far has been an embarrassment for the fans. But only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are left and it wasn’t a surprise. Despite Cleveland losing a game against the pesky Boston Celtics team without Isaiah Thomas, they won in five. Golden State swept San Antonio and became the first undefeated team heading into the Finals since the 2000-01 Lakers. This now sets up another Finals rematch for the third time between these two superteams, which the NBA really wants to see.
Going into these Finals, both teams are off to incredible starts. Cavaliers are 12-1 and rank 3rd in offensive rating (113.6) and 21st in defensive rating (110.4). Warriors are 12-0 and rank 1st in offensive rating (115.6) and 2nd in defensive rating (104.0). On paper most individuals would say that the Warriors, who are heavy favorites to win the title, would beatdown the Cavaliers. But it does not seem like that is gonna happen unless Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green go off. This Warriors team is great in many ways and has an underrated bench, but so the Cavaliers.
They are playing better than ever and even have solid pieces such as Deron Williams and Kyle Korver to complement LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. All three are playing at a level most stars can’t even dream of doing. The Cavaliers chemistry and making plays as a group has improved tremendously. They are much more dangerous than before and look to repeat. However, the challenge is gonna be completely different because of Durant and his skill set. A 7 foot player capable of making threes, getting to the basket with his long strides and can do what James does overall is a big advantage for Golden State.
Cleveland needs to play out of their minds in order to win these games. James needs to average 40 to 45 points along with 10 rebounds and 9 assists for the Cavs to have any chance, and limit Durant’s scoring. Irving also needs to win his matchup against Curry, who is healthy and ready to improve to everyone why he is the two-time MVP. Love needs to keep playing like the Timberwolves Love in order to make Green frustrated on the defensive end. And let’s not forget about Tristan Thompson, who can change an outcome of any game due to offensive and defensive rebounds. Thompson has an advantage just as long as JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachuila or David West don’t go off.
In spite of all that, Cleveland’s mental toughness, playing great defense and James’ playing like a superstar might just be enough to upset Golden State again.
Cleveland in five against Golden State