LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will suffer another loss in the NBA Finals, as the Championship Series tips off on Thursday and here are the reasons why.
Warriors have been tested, Cavaliers have not: Golden State had to dig deep to find something extra when they were 3-1 down against Oklahoma City Thunder, and their star players and the bench contributed. The Warriors ‘aged’ a bit more in that Series win. Cavaliers on the other hand, faced no adversity on their way to the Finals. The closest they came to being threatened was the double loss at Toronto.
Cavaliers’ strength may mean nothing to Warriors: The Cavaliers are specialists in isolation offence; LeBron James and Kyrie Irving love driving and slashing to the rim, and they have two of the best rebounders in the League in Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson. But the Warriors took care of the ultimate slasher, Russell Westbrook, in the last round. As for Mozgov and Thompson, they get the chance to rebound only when Warriors miss!
Warriors have deceptive strength-in-depth: Well, maybe not exactly ‘deceptive’, but these Warriors are probably underrated. The Splash brothers’ credentials are well known, as is the defensive capabilities of Andre Iguodala (He was named MVP in last season’s Finals based mostly on the work he did to limit LeBron). But the likes of Marreese Speights, Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston have also played huge roles to get them here.
Warriors are better at defending shooters: One other strength Cavaliers have is the spread of shooters. Although they don’t have the reputation of Warriors, they peppered teams with treys on their way to the East Championship. But the Warriors are well known for being one of the best in contesting shots, while they have the best “catch-and-shoot” guys in the league.
And there are those regular season games: The Warriors are 2-0 against the Cavaliers this season; a close 89-83 and a blow out 132-98 that had plenty of garbage time, and the downfall of the Cavaliers on both occasions, was the reliance on isolation plays.