Make no mistake about it, the upcoming 2015 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors has all the makings of an instant classic.
The Warriors are coached by former NBA player and General Manager Steve Kerr who is in his first year on the Warriors bench. Kerr, won five NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. The man knows what it takes to win and showed as much leading the Warriors to an NBA-best 67 wins this past season for a whopping .817 winning percentage.
They finished with one of the best regular seasons in NBA history, and the greatest in the team’s 69-year history since moving west from Philadelphia. He also led the Warriors to a 12-3 playoff record thus far, with a sweep over the New Orleans Pelicans in round one, a six game series win over Memphis in round two, and fresh off a five-game series win against the high-powered Houston Rockets to reach this point.
Golden State is led by league MVP and sharp shooter Stephen Curry who finished the season with a 23.8 point a game average along with one of the best three-point shots in the game. He currently has an incredible 40% career average from beyond the arc, and is on his way to becoming one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Curry’s father Del, also played in the NBA in Cleveland, Toronto and Charlotte.
Curry is not the only son of a former player in the vaunted Warriors backcourt however as his “Splash Brothers” teammate Klay Thompson is the son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson.
He too, had a great season finishing with 21.7 points a game and shooting for his career at .418% beyond the arc. They have the best backcourt in the NBA and will offer a very tough test for the Cavs to try to cover, especially if Kyrie Irving is still banged up with the ankle and leg injuries.
Mix in the threat of Harrision Barnes, the speedy small forward who is looking to torch the Cavs and show them how wrong they were to choose Dion Waiters over him in the 2012 NBA draft. Draymond Green is set to defend LeBron James in the matchup of his life. Things look good for the Warriors as even Vegas is picking them as a 3 – 1 favorite.
With all that being said, I’m taking the Cavs in five.
This not a homer pick, but one of banking on the Cavs experience and poise over the Warriors flash and youth. The Cavaliers are bigger, more athletic and most of all battled-tested and ready to win big.
The Warriors have faced no adversity all season and Cleveland has faced nothing but. Need a reason to believe in the Cavaliers being a team of destiny?
Three of their original starters from opening night in Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving haven’t played for the majority of the playoffs. Varejao didn’t even get that far, Love was hurt in the Boston series and Irving had to beat the Hawks with one leg.
If you believe in things such as stats to quantify a reason, since starting out at 19-20, the Cavs have been 46-11, roughly a .807 clip, and In the postseason, they have won 12 out of 14 games and seem to be on a roll.
LeBron James is appearing in his fifth straight finals and on a mission to make his redemption complete. Tristan Thompson is playing for a max contract and has been a monster on the boards because of it. Mix that in with the red-hot shooting of JR Smith, and the scrappyness of Delly, and the peaking Cavaliers have the intangibles to bring Cleveland its first championship in 50 years.