Remember the NBA Finals? Nope, #Stern hasn’t fixed it for Lebron yet! We kick off tonight after what seems like an endless layoff and it’s about damn time. Not really sure as a basketball fan you could hate this matchup as both teams deserve to be here. The best player in the world vs the most exciting player in the league should be a good matchup. Let’s dive in.
Frankly, history is on the Warriors’ side. They had a truly dominant season, and this really isn’t up for debate. They are the 10th team in NBA history to win 67 or more games, 7 of which won the NBA title. During the regular season they are the 8th team to outscore opponents by 10+ ppg, 6 of the previous 7 won the title. They are the 6th team to win 78 of their first 95 games, and all previous 5 won the title. Shit, even super nerd Nate Silver calculated that they have had the 3rd best regular season OF ALL TIME after the ’95 and ’96 Bulls teams. Jesus christ. The playoffs haven’t really been too different, as they are 12-3 entering the finals in the grueling Western Conference.
It is no surprise how ridiculous Curry has been, but his playoff numbers deserve to be mentioned: 29.2 ppg 4.9 reb 6.4 asts 1.9 stls shooting 46% from the field and 44% from 3. Backing up his MVP like you read about. Defensively, I don’t see anyone on the Cavs roster that will be able to guard him. It’s not Kyrie, and don’t give me Shumpert, because then who guards Klay? Just a disaster lineup.
A lot has been said that jump shooting teams can’t win an NBA title, and while I think there is some truth to that, the NBA has changed and the Warriors shoot the ball like we haven’t seen in history. For me, this Warriors season reminds me much of the Celtics ’08 year, just dominant from start to finish, especially at home. Basically if the Warriors don’t win the title it will be one of the most historic disappointments in league history. No pressure.
Now for the other side of the coin. The god damn Lebron’s. As ridiculous as Curry has been this postseason, it pains me to say Lebron has been equally if not more ridiculous. Granted, the East is a joke (Celtics beat Atlanta in 6, deal with it) but his numbers are NBA 2k Rookie Mode good: 27.6 ppg 10.4 reb 8.3 asts 1.9 stls. However, his shooting has struggled at just 42% from the field and 17%(!) from deep. But none of that matters. Lebron’s biggest impact on this team is how he elevates everyone around him. Tristan Thompson, Mozgov, the pride of Moraga basketball Dellevadova have all elevated their game as a product of playing along side Lebron. Cleveland enters the Finals with a 12-2 record, sweeping 2 of their 3 opponents (still stings). They have been the best defensive team in either conference this postseason, but with each game, they become more and more insufferable.
Why? Well not a day goes by where we have not heard what a #warrior Lebron is for playing through what are the most disabling injuries of all time. Kyrie, man it’s a prayer the kid can even walk! A team this good cannot stop from putting excuses out there while they claim to “not make excuses”. We all saw the billboard that went up a few days ago, we get it Lebron, your team has season ending injuries but you’ve risen above it. Puke city. Not to mention…
There is just no way you can like this team. Yes, part of it is because despite all this they still win, but that is what is most frustrating. Steph Curry basically died, and Klay Thompson’s brain oozed out of his head, and we don’t hear a peep. Yet someone who is a freak of nature at 6’9 260+ lbs gets hurt more than I do playing pickup? No chance.
Aside from all that crap, from a basketball standpoint, I am not really sure who on GS is going to guard Lebron. I’m sure they will throw Draymond Green/Barnes/Thompson on him at times, but you can’t stop Lebron, those are the facts. Also, if Kyrie is close to 100% I am not sure Curry can stay in front of him either. They are similar in their ability to get to their spot whenever they want, so I would bet they cancel eachother out.
Now, I wouldn’t feel right if I went on any further without mentioning what conflict I am sure every Celtics fan is facing. With both teams carrying former players, who do I want to win the title more? I could care less about Lebron winning again, or Curry getting his first. The true battle of the Finals is Perk vs. Barbosa. Personally, I am a huge Perk guy. Celts win in 2010 if he doesn’t blow his ACL and his trade to OKC ruined our franchise. Anytime you can have little to no basketball skill and get a 32M contract you almost have to respect it. Unfortunately, he is riding Lebron’s coattails and by law I will never root for him so sorry Perk, I am on team Barbosa.
Prediction: My head says Warriors in 7, but my heart says Warriors in 6. Fuck Lebron.