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Everyone who has paid attention to the NBA this year knew that this was going to happen. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are matching up in the NBA finals for the third straight year. These two teams both were not challenged going into the finals as they put up a combined record of 24-1. I think that that the Cavs got away against easy competition as they play in the dreadful eastern conference. But the Dubs also got away with facing opponents that were not at full strength especially when facing San Antonio without Kawhi Leonard. That injury may not of allowed the Spurs to win the series but it did allow the dubs to sweep their way to the finals. Although the cavs did not face the greatest competition coming through the conference I personally think that both Lebron James and Kevin Love playing the best basketball of their careers right now. And if we see Kyrie go off like he did in game four of the conference finals, The Warriors are going to be in a lot of trouble. But Golden State has the best offensive team in NBA history where if Steph Curry or Klay Thompson start heating up from downtown this may be a lobsided series in favor of Golden State.
During the series I think personally that Lebron, although he is the better player and KD, as well as Kyrie and Steph will virtually cancel each other out and be even for both teams so I will not include them on this list!
- J.R Smith vs. Klay Thompson
This matchup is very interesting to me. Klay Thompson most likely will not be directly gaurding J.R, he will most likely be defensively lined up against Kyrie. Klay did a phenomenal job in the WCF gaurding spurs point guard Patty Mills. Although he did an excellent job on the defensive end it seemed to take a big hit on the offensive side of the only scoring 11 ppg. He was also missing wide open threes that usually we see him knocking down with ease. J.R Smith did not have a great series but some of that may have been from having a lot on his mind with the whole situation with his baby in the hospital. I expect him to be a lot better and if he heats up it seems like he can shoot the ball from anywhere. He also is very important as he’ll be matched up on Klay so if he keeps his head in it on the defensive side he will be a huge assest.
Advantage: Klay Thompson
- Tristan Thompson vs Zaza
This should be the matchup that could put the cavs over the top. Tristan Thompson is just better then Zaza at about everything from rebounding, scoring and defense. This matchup will work out heavily in Clevlands favor.
Advantage: Tristan Thompson
- Kevin Love vs Draymond Green
This is the most important matchup of the whole finals. While everyone will be watching Lebron vs KD, I’m watching this matchup. This matchup is so even as Kevin Love is the better scorer, Draymond green is the better defender and passer. I think personally the cavs will allow Draymond to take jump shots all day. They have to be most aware of his passing ability, Draymond is one of the best passing big men in the league. He has the ability to also be the emotional leader of this team and make sure that the team stays focused on winning each team and is not afraid to call out a teammate for making a dumb mistake. But on the Cavs side Kevin Love is looking like the guy that he was in Minnesota. He finally looks like he belongs with the rest of the guys and he’s not just another average player. If he scores the way he did in the ECF and knocks down all the threes he hit, this matchup could be deadly to the warriors chances of winning the finals. Personally I think Love is very confident right now and could be in for a big finals.
Advantage: Kevin Love
So after going through the key matchups and looking over each player. This Finals is shaped up to be one of the greatest ever. I think that Clevland will steal a game in Golden State and be tied 1-1 going back to Cleveland. When in Cleveland I think these two teams split once again being 2-2 going back to Orecle. The stage is not to big for the cavs as everyone knows they won in Oakland last year game seven and the cavs take a 3-2 lead. Then Lebron and the cavs have a chance to close out in his home arena. This is where I expect Kevin Durant to come up small in a game 6 as both him and Steph have shown in the past that they can often come up small when the lights are the brightest and Cleveland is able to win the title in their home arena!
My prediction: CAVS IN 6