The Golden State Warriors are the favourites (whether marginal or overwhelming, doesn’t matter) to win the 2016 NBA Finals, but as we know, predicting the outcome of sporting events is not an exact science, therefore, the Cleveland Cavaliers might just have a chance, and here are the reasons…
There is only one LeBron James in the NBA. The Akron native is heading into his sixth consecutive Finals with three different teams in two franchises. Michael Jordan won six NBA titles, but His Airness won the titles on two triple trips separated by two years of Hakeem Olajuwon and Houston Rockets' domination of the Playoffs, while Jordan went to try his hands at baseball. LeBron’s influence on the Finals will be huge, we can all count on that: everything rests on him. And his visionary passing will certainly set up his team mates for loads of points.
The Cavaliers are well rested, while the Warriors have just been taken through a gruelling 7-Game Series by an opponent that kept them on edge in all seven games. Should the Cavs take advantage of the likely fatigue, and win Game One, we will be in for a showpiece Finals. The Warriors will want to start fast, but at some point in the Third Quarter, or early in the Fourth, fatigue will shadow them. If the Cavs take advantage of this, they have a chance.
Channing Frye arrived at Cleveland just after the All Star break and may just prove to be the most astute trade of the season. The 6’11 forward/center has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting, and may just be the go-to guy, if Kevin Love fails to step up. He is currently shooting just below .400 from three point range, and averaging 15.6pts per 36 minutes on the court in the playoffs. If and when Tristan Thompson or Timofey Mozgov get offensive boards, he will likely be one of the shooters spotting up in the perimeter along with Iman Shumpert and JR Smith.
That brings us to the shooting. The Cavaliers are not as renowned for their shooting as the serial bombers of Golden State, but they did kinda throw a party of treys on their way to the East title. The Warriors know how to defend shooters, but Cavaliers are adept at the pick and roll, and reap rewards off LeBron screens. Now all they need do, is find a way to judiciously alternate between these and their isolation plays.
Finally Cavaliers lost the Finals last season, and are 0-2 against Warriors this season. Maybe Warriors have used up all their wins against the Thunder?