Finally, some new blood in the NBA Finals. Been a long time since there were two more shocking conference champions, but somehow, some way, the Cavs and Warriors are meeting in the Finals. While leagues like the NHL have to deal with yet another Golden Knights-Capitals matchup, the NBA shows it’s finally captured that fool’s gold known as parity. I, for one, am thrilled to see it.
I’ve done my rant on this before, but to all the mouthbreathers out there who are complaining about Cavs-Warriors IV, what else did you want? If you say Raptors, stop reading this right now and never watch basketball again. If you’re not a Celtics fan (☹️) you can’t be that upset their depleted roster, which was clearly at the end of its rope and flat out choked in game 7, didn’t make it since they would have been obliterated (since we somehow view Finals/Super Bowl/World Series losses as worse than not getting there at all, maybe not a bad thing for the Celtics’ long term reputation??? Always knew Brad had a plan). And don’t hit me with the Rockets if you were someone who was bashing their style of play all year. I seriously can’t understand the hockey guy/90s basketball guy’s mindset when it comes to the Rockets. You hate them because all they do is shoot 3s and manipulate the refs, but then you’re upset when they get eliminated because they were the best chance for a new champion? Huh? And, of course, the Super Team crowd, who apparently just started watching basketball in 2016 and have no idea what the NBA was like in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, or 00s. But hey, Kevin Durant ruined the NBA, right? The Warriors are the best team in the league, and LeBron is the best player in the league. If you’re unhappy that that’s the NBA FINALS matchup, please die.
Anyway, as for the series itself. Kind of lazy on my part, but there’s really no point in pulling out any numbers or anything, because the Cavs can’t be summed up by simple metrics. They’re terrible, don’t try, hate each other, and are massive underdogs. They also have LeBron James, who, already mind-meltingly great, continues to improve at age 33. It’s not completely far fetched to say LeBron wins two games singlehandedly then the role players show up for one home game and force a game 7. In all honesty, though, that would require the good Jeff Green game, the good J.R. game, the huge Kevin Love (cleared to play in game 1) game, the good George Hill game, and the game where Tristan Thompson can actually stay on the floor against the Warriors to happen at the same time. I think the last time the planets aligned that perfectly Hades released the Titans from their underwater prison to stage an attack on Mt. Olympus (a little Hercules reference, folks). The odds are overwhelmingly slim.
Here’s what we know about the Cavs- LeBron will be LeBron and Kyle Korver will make 45% of his 3s. Everything else is a total crapshoot. Here’s what we know about the Warriors- they have four Hall of Famers in their primes, who, despite not looking as dominant as usual this year, can reach a collective level no team (maybe ever) can match. The Cavs were way better last year and got absolutely demolished. Apathy is the Cavs only hope at making this a series, if we’re being honest. I hesitate to count out LeBron, but I think this will be quick and painless for all parties involved.
Prediction: Warriors in 5