So the cast is now complete, it’s the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2015 NBA Crown come the 4th of June – this, after both teams relatively breezed through the Finals. Oh, at least Cleveland that is – with only the Bulls providing them with some scare until Pau Gasol hurt his hamstring.
The Warriors? Ah, you know the West – it’s a battle out there though it doesn’t show on Golden State’s playoff record particularly in the second round and the Conference Finals.
Now, are the Warriors then the favorites?
Well, when it comes to a series and especially the Finals, we can just about throw those numbers away after Game 1 – which is the only time the teams’ statistics do matter..
Afterwhich, it’s all about matchups and adjustments.
For the starting lineup, the Cavaliers got the edge simply because it’s LeBron James over a still toughening Harrison Barnes. The rest of the spots, on the other hand, are basically even. Irving can do what Curry brings to the table, although Curry is the better shooter. At the SG spot, though Thompson is known as the better shooter than either Smith or Shumpert – Klay is kinda on-and-off. As for the big guys, both sides rebounds and defends well; and while Mozgov can shoot short jumpers, Green can shoot 3s.
The bench? Give it to the Warriors. Livingston has the height, skills, and experience over Dellavedova; while Lee and Ezeli are quality subs for Green and Bogut. And while both Smith and Shumpert are shooting better than Barbosa, the Brazilian has got that spunk. Most of all, Golden State has Iguodala – an athletic and skilled wingman who can minimize LeBron’s effectiveness at the same time hit those threes, slash in, or be that primary finisher off the break.
So, are the Warriors the favorites then?
For the Cavs to win, they got to put a lot of minutes on their 7 reliables. And for the Warriors to win, the team has got to pound on those 7 Cavs – efficiently.
Some Interesting Facts:
- Both Head Coaches in Steve Kerr and David Blatt are rookies.
- Both teams are dogface-monickered as in Warriors and Cavaliers.
- Both teams battled and won 4-2 against “land animals” in the Semis as in the Grizzlies and the Bulls – before taking on “rulers of the skies” in the Rockets and the Hawks at the Conference Finals.
In the end, everything would come down to the strategies of Steve Kerr against the experience of LeBron James – to the shooting touch of Curry against the skills of Irving.
Our prediction – whoever has got the heart of a champion wins.