Once again this time of year we have the age old debate: final or finals? NHL goes with the Stanley Cup Final. The NBA simply calls it “The Finals”. I don’t think there is a wrong answer, but could they get together and go with the same thing because it’s really annoying!
Ok so one starts last night, tonight for the 4th year in a row we get the finals matchup that everyone wanted. Lebron vs Golden State. Sorry, Cleveland vs Golden State. But make no mistake that is what this feels like.
We already know the key to this series is Kyrie Irving due to the fact that while he is playing, his knee tendinitis sounds as though it is giving him a ton of problems. And we already know Kevin Love is done for the year. Lebron is amazing, but he can’t do it by himself. Maybe in the East he could, but not against the best team in the league.
And if you haven’t watched the Warriors this season, you’re going to want to do that. This team is just awesome to watch, add to that the crowd in Oakland is amazing. But I’ve never seen a team have success the way they do. 10 years ago the Steve Nash led Phoenix Suns played free flowing like this, but never could figure out how to play at the defensive end. Steve Kerr stepped in as head coach this season, his first year coaching, and has not only got them to buy in at the defensive end but turned them into the top defensive squad in the NBA.
But this is where I bring it back to Irving. If he can not only go, but be close to 100% in this series then I really like the Cavs chances. Because the Warriors while being a great defensive team, don’t have anyone who I believe will give Lebron any kind of problem. So they may need to double team Lebron a lot which would free up Irving. But that is sounding very unlikely at this point.
So what happens in this series? I still think Lebron is more dialed in than he’s ever been in his career. Can you believe we used to question this guys leadership abilities? He right now looks like one of the best leaders in sports. And he has far more experience than anyone else who matters in this series. So in my mind that’ll be good for at least 2 wins, and those 2 wins will come prior to game 6 (obviously, otherwise they don’t get to game 6!) and I can’t see the Cavs losing this series at home (remember, it is no longer a 2-3-2 format).
But I can’t see the Cavs taking this. I really want them to. I love watching both teams, I’ve liked the Warriors ever since Chris Webber dunked on Charles Barkley in his rookie season. But the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a title of any kind since 1964. I want to see them get this one.
But they won’t. I believe they’ll simply alternate wins, and since I believe the Warriors will win tonight, that they’ll eventually win in 7. But I’m expecting an incredible effort by James, perhaps to the point that he becomes the first series MVP from a losing team since Jerry West did it in 1969 when his Lakers were victims of maybe the biggest upset in NBA history as the Boston Celtics won their 11th title in 13 years (like me dropping some NBA history on you like that? Maybe some time I’ll blog about Jim Loscutoff).
But this is DRAMA at it’s finest. The best team against the Jordan of his time. The last 2 MVP’s going head to head. What most people would consider the 2 best teams in the league. Mark Jackson forced to do color commentary for the team he coached just last season. It has all the ingredients to be a classic finals…or final? No no this one is finals.
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