Cavaliers vs Warriors X3 Preview

Over the last two NBA Finals Golden State has won seven games, While Cleveland has won six games. Each team has come away with championship during the last two finals. Now comes the next chapter in this evolving rivalry starting tomorrow night in Cali.

Point Guard

Stephen Curry vs Kyrie Irving

These are two of the best offensive point guards in the league. Offense is their forte not defense. Irving will probably guard Curry more than Curry guards him. Expect Cleveland to go at Curry on defense by putting him in the pick and roll as much as possible. Irving needs to play well on both ends in this series. I expect both to play well,  which means someone else will have to make a difference.

Edge: Even

Shooting Guard

J.R. Smith vs Clay Thompson

Smith has been making difference on the defensive end. I not sure what to expect from him on offense anything will be a plus. Meanwhile Thompson has become option #3 in the Warrior offense. This might help him since he will be guarding Irving most of the time. If Thompson wakes up on offense Cleveland could struggle.

Edge: Warriors

Small Forward

Lebron James vs Kevin Durant

Another classic match up of two of leagues best players. James has taken it to another level in the playoffs. If gets any consistent help from his supporting cast ring number #4 could be in his future. Durant is a pure scorer period who can’t be stopped. The Warriors will need him to take his play up another level. Durant’s defense might be more important than his offense in this series because if Lebron gets loose things could get ugly.

Edge: Cavaliers

Power Forward

Draymond Green vs Kevin Love

Green has become one the better players in the league because of his defense and passing. His offense isn’t on the same level, but he can hurt you if you don’t pay attention to him. K Love is playing his best basketball since coming to Cleveland. If he engaged and involved on offense(making shots) he becomes another problem for the Warriors.

Edge: Warriors

Center

Tristan Thompson vs Zaza Pachulia

Thompson will need to be contained on the boards by whomever the Warriors run out there. This is where TT makes his impact and the Warriors can’t allow that to happen. Rebounding will be important in this series for both teams. A extra possession could mean a win for one of these teams.

Edge: Cavaliers

Cavaliers Bench vs Warriors Bench

This is the unknown factor of this series whose bench will step up in this series. Cleveland’s bench present more of an offensive factor, while Warriors bench is more of an defensive presence. No bench player in this series will play more than 15 minutes  a game unless something unexpected happens.

Edge: Cavaliers

Conclusion

Cleveland will need to get stops on defense and have their stars play like stars to win this series. Golden State can’t underestimate Cleveland or lose their defensive focus. The team who plays the best defense will be the champion.

 

Advertisements

The Biggest Game In Cavalier History

All the talking is about t0 end. The court will tell the story who will be 2015-16 NBA champion. History is pending on both sides with only one team being crowned champion. Cavalier fan already knows the story 52 years of waiting comes down to tonight in California. On the other side Golden State wants end their historic season with another championship.

Lebron James has brought hope back to Northeast Ohio and tonight he can become even more legendary with a win on the road. I believe the King will his thing tonight the question is who will come along side him on his team. No question this is the biggest game in Cavalier franchise history. This is what it’s all about one game playoff for the bling and bragging rights as the best in the NBA.

Steph Curry and the Warriors stand in the way of Lebron and Northeast Ohio’s championship dreams. The Warriors have some history they want to make with a win tonight. History is on the side of Golden State and they need to play like it to secure their place in NBA history.

I have been a resident of Northeast Ohio all my life. I have lived and died with our sports teams championship drought. Tonight all that could end and the celebrating will begin. Lebron could deliver what no one has been able to do in 52 years. After 48 minutes we will find out who will experience the happiness or sadness of winning or losing the NBA title.

2015 NBA Finals Preview

As I sit here waiting for the NBA Finals in about 2 hours Cavalier fan is waiting to see what our team will do. Can this franchise win it’s first NBA title and bring the first professional championship to Cleveland in 51 years. On the other side Golden State hasn’t won a championship in 40 years. The Warriors have no players with NBA Finals experience, which may or may not play a factor in this series. Tonight begins the road to that elusive championship for both teams.

Backcourt

The Warriors have the best backcourt in the league in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. They are two of the best shooters in the league from the three point line. Curry has made himself a top five player with his MVP season. Thompson has grown each season into one of the better two way players in the NBA. Cleveland’s backcourt story is a little different with Kyrie Irving being limited because of injuries. Irving and Iman Shumpert will need to do something special to keep this matchup close.

Edge: Warriors

Frontcourt

Lebron James is on a mission that could enhance his legacy to an even higher level if he brings the trophy back to Cleveland. Draymond Green who has become the Warriors best frontcourt player will have his hands full trying to check the King. Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes will need to keep Tristan Thompson off the boards, which nobody has been able to do this post season.

Edge: Cavaliers

Bench

There is no question the Warriors have the deeper bench in which they can go five deep into the bench. At the most Cleveland will go three deep into their bench. No Warriors bench player is as explosive as J.R. Smith who can go off for 30+ points on any given night will be an x factor.

Edge: Even

Prediction: Cavaliers in 6.

Cavaliers Looking To Tie Series Today

Today is a big day in Cleveland Cavaliers franchise history. They need a win today thanks to a Derrick Rose game winner at the buzzer Friday night. This is a must win game for Cleveland without a doubt not wanting to go down 3-1 to the Bulls. The Cavaliers are banged up right now with Shumpert, Irving and obviously Kevin Love less than 100% or out. But they are not offering any excuses because of injuries which is a good thing. I have not been overly impressed with the Bulls two wins in this series. In game one they shot exceptionally well, while in game three Rose banked in the game winner enough said. Defensively and on the boards the Bulls have turned up the aggression to which Cleveland needs to answer back. Another key is the play of Kyrie Irving who was averaging 25 points per game in the series. Irving only had 11 points on 3/13 shooting on Friday night. I don’t know if it was the injury or the Bulls defense that slowed him down. Whatever the case is Irving needs to drop 20+ points today and be a factor in this game. Lebron James is averaging a near triple double in this series, but he is only shooting 39% from the field. He needs to shoot higher percentage and finish better at the rim. He is also is leading everybody with 15 turnovers in the series of which 7 came in game three. James and Irving are the two best players in this series by far. Today is the day they put their mark on this series and this franchise. It’s not about the other players who still need to contribute. It’s about James and Irving today bringing this back to Cleveland tied up 2-2 period.

Cavalier Grades For 1st Round Of The Playoffs

Starters

Kyrie Irving   Grade = A

In his first playoff series Irving played well offensively. No weakness on offense can score off the bounce, mid-range or downtown. Needs to guard better in the 2nd round of playoffs.

J.R. Smith Grade = C

Smith made his first big mistake since joining Cleveland with Jae Crowder incident. Swish has played solid defense better than expected. Smith becomes 3rd option with Love out, but will miss the first two games of the next series.

Timofey Mozgov Grade = B

Mozgov played decent in this series. He was like the fifth option on offense with most of his points coming off pick and rolls. He did protect the rim pretty good.

Kevin Love Grade = B

Before the injury Love looked like was finding his groove. Love had to two good games before going down. We will have to wait until next year if he opts in.

Lebron James Grade = A

King James does what he does being the best at his craft. It’s championship or bust at this point. Lebron is going to do his part it’s other players who need to step to bring the gold to Cleveland.

The Bench

Iman Shumpert Grade = B

Shumpert played great defense along with some bonus offense. We need more of that as the playoffs continue.

Tristan Thompson Grade = B

Thompson is offensive rebounding machine one of the best in the league. Another player Cleveland will need to get more out of as the playoffs move on.

James Jones Grade = C

The specialist wasn’t hitting the three ball in this series. He has to hit that shot to make up for being a defensive liability.

Matthew Dellavedova Grade = C

Delly will play enough to give Kyrie a breather.

Kendrick Perkins Grade = Inc

Can u say enforcer?

Shawn Marion Grade = Inc

Just a cameo appearance.

Cavaliers Take Out Celtics In 4

acac9248a630976a1f016610837614c0_crop_north

Cleveland moves to the second round of the playoffs with a 101-93 victory. In a very physical game Cleveland survived but didn’t go unscathed losing Kevin Love in the first quarter to a shoulder injury. Also J.R. Smith got ejected in the 3rd quarter for backhand slap on Jae Crowder. Cleveland is by far a more talented team than Boston who started playing bully ball in the last two games.Love is probably is going to be down for extended period, while Smith is facing a suspension. Kendrick Perkins might also be getting suspended. That’s enough off court stuff let’s get back to what happened on the court.

The Players

Lebron James  46 minutes 27 points 10 rebounds 8 assists 3 steals

King James is difference maker even when he has a poor shooting performance. The best player on the planet has been here before.

Kyrie Irving 43 minutes 24 points 11 rebounds 3 assists

Uncle Drew is just a pure shot maker who is clutch. Irving showed in this series his first playoff experience he can handled it.

Iman Shumpert  37 minutes 15 points 10 rebounds 2 steals

When Smith got ejected Shump stepped in and did well especially on the defensive end stopping little  Isaiah Thomas.

Timofey Mozgov 27 minutes 12 points 11 rebounds 3 blocks

They got Mozgov going early in some pick and rolls. He was one of four players to grab 10+ rebounds in the game.

Cleveland has taken step one in the playoffs. They also have a degree of uncertainty with the Love and Smith issues. They will need this rest to reevaluate how they approach the 2nd round of the playoffs.