CLEVELAND – While temperatures across Northeast Ohio are at record-breaking lows, the red-hot Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are set to heat up The Q with a possible NBA Finals preview.
Dubs vs. Cavs, West Coast vs. North Coast and Steph Curry vs. LeBron James? How could this not be a taste of things to come in June?
According to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, the Warriors and Cavaliers have the best odds of meeting in the NBA Finals at 2-1 and 2-3 respectively.
At 44-10, the NBA-best Warriors boast this season runaway co- NBA MVP’s in guards Curry and Klay Thompson, Coach of the Year in Steve Curr and the most prolific offense in their franchise’s storied history since the days of Run TMC.
With players such as Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Marreese Speights and Andrew Bogut, the Warriors are primed to not only come out of the West, but possible win their first title since 1975 and fourth overall.
The question is; can the Splash Bros deliver the goods come playoff time?
Thru 54 games, Golden State is first in points and assists (110.4, 27.1) and eighth in rebounds (44.7), one of their wins was against a Cavaliers team sans James, 112-94 and in the process of assimilating new pickups such as Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.
This is not that same Cleveland team they beat handily inside the loud and raucous Oracle Arena by 18 points in January, but perhaps their toughest and most complete adversary they will face all year.
In going 17-3 since James’ return, the Cavaliers have climbed from fifth to third in the East thanks to a red-hot James and Kyrie Irving, who has elevated himself into the conversation of top five point guards in the NBA in averaging 20.4 points and 5.7 assists during the month of February.
As a team, Cleveland is beginning to get that championship look, thanks to the strong play of James’ 23.8 points per game in his last ten, the strong rebounding and outside shooting of Kevin Love and three-point marksmanship of J.R. Smith. After adding veteran big man Kendrick Perkins for depth, the Cavaliers now have the front-court depth in Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, Brendan Haywood and Perkins, along with balanced scoring from James, Love and Irving to counter the up-tempo, run-and-gun duo of Curry and Thompson.
Championships are not won in January or February, and while a 20-plus games remain in the season, there is no doubt that based on their current high level of play, that both the Warriors and Cavaliers are destined to renew acquaintances in June.