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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.