NBA Finals Game 1 Analysis

Cleveland had every chance to win this game in regulation. Due to various reasons which we won’t get into here. Below is my analysis from Game 1 on what Cleveland needs to keep doing and what they need to make adjustments on.

Cavalier Players Not Named Lebron James

25/67  37%      7/31 3P 23%       63 points

The supporting cast only scored 12 more points than King James. Cleveland needs a 3rd option who can get 15-18 points.  The three-point shooting has to improve from 23%.

Rebounding

Cleveland 53  Golden St 38   Cleveland +15

Cleveland crushed the Warriors on the boards. Cleveland needs to capitalize on their rebounding to slow Golden St down on the offensive end.

Offensive Rebounding

Cleveland 19 Golden St 4 Cleveland +15

Another smash spot for the Cavaliers. They need score more 2nd chance points. Again Cleveland needs to make the Warriors pay if they going to give that many offensive rebounds.

Assists

Golden St 31 Cleveland 18  Golden St  +13

This is the difference between missing and making shots. The Warriors shot 51% while Cleveland shot 44%. Cleveland needs to make more shots and defend better.

Golden St Backcourt 3P Shooting

Curry  5/11  45%  Thompson 5/10 50%

You can’t allow Curry and Thompson to have 21 attempts from three. Make them score off the dribble. You can’t help off either one of them on defense.

Thirteen missed shots off Lebron James passes.

Lebron should have 12-15 assists in this game. But no one could make an open shot. If Cleveland doesn’t start hitting shots the Warriors are going to let the King get his and bet the others won’t step up.

 

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Cleveland vs Golden St NBA Finals Preview

On the eve of the 4th straight installment of this NBA Finals match-up. Everybody is counting Cleveland out of this series before it starts. It’s going to take supreme effort from the others not named Lebron James for the Cavaliers to upset the Warriors. Heading into Game 1 Cleveland is 12.5 point road underdog. On paper this is a mismatch with the Warriors  boasting 4 All-Star players, while Cleveland has one future Hall of Fame player and no other elite player on the roster. Here is the player match-up by position.

Stephen Curry vs George Hill

Hill will need to contain Curry as much as he can. Hill will need to make Curry defend because he is not a very good defender. Cleveland will need to put Curry in the pick and roll often as they can.  Cleveland can’t afford to let Curry go off.

Klay Thompson vs J.R. Smith

These backcourt matchups might be the key to this series.  Thompson is an elite catch and shoot guy. Smith will need to make him put it on the deck. Smith can’t leave Thompson to help others on defense.  Smith will need to be an offensive presence from the opening tip tomorrow night.

Kevin Durant vs Lebron James

Not sure how this matchup is going to turn out. I know one thing Cleveland doesn’t want Lebron on Durant.  This is another position where there is concern. Jeff Green is the only other player who I would put on Durant.  If Love is out Green will get the start most likely.

Draymond Green vs Kevin Love

If Love is out the frontcourt matchups will change.  Lebron will probably guard Green if Love is out and  Green will guard Durant.  Cleveland needs to make Green a scorer by using his man as a help defender.

Kevon Looney vs Tristan Thompson

This is a matchup where Cleveland has an advantage. Warriors don’t run any plays for anyone playing this spot. Thompson will need to create extra possessions on offense to slow the Warriors transition game.

Bench

Neither team goes deep into their bench. Cleveland plays 7-8 rotation, while the Warriors go about the same number of players.  Anything either team gets from their benches might get the better bench a win.

I will be rooting for Cleveland, but the numbers say the Warriors will win their 3rd title in four years. Like I said before someone else needs to come up big for Cleveland to make this close.

 

 

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.