Byron Dixon| BKD TV
After a marathon like season filled with various story lines that many people did not see coming it is now time for the crowning event to conclude the NBA season, The NBA Finals. A tale of two teams one of whom most expected to be there in the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the other team the Golden State Warriors who is lead by the MVP Stephen Curry has not been there since 1975. The Golden State Warriors will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers to determine the NBA’s best team and its next champion in the NBA Finals starting Thursday in Oakland at Oracle Arena.
If someone would have told most people who cover the NBA before the season outside of Oakland who would win the murders row known as the Western Conference Golden State would not be on that list and would come as a shock to most. With rookie head coach Steve Kerr and NBA MVP Stephen Curry leading the way Golden State has overachieved in most people’s eyes. Having the best record wire to wire throughout the season and finishing with 67 wins and having a team with the offensive fluidity and defensive intensity and commitment that can be accredited to the foundation laid by Marc Jackson was a must see night in and night out during the regular and post season. With the shooting ability this team posses and the growth of Klay Thompson on both ends of the court and the overall rise to stardom in Draymond Green has embarked upon has given this team a legit big three. Golden State has the ability two play at various tempos and throw multiple bodies at LeBron to try and disrupted his rythmn. Golden Sate’s bench play combined with the ressurection of Andrew Bogut and his inside presence had helped out and silenced some critics who have bashed this teams lack of size inside. The Warriors have come out to play this season and enter this series poised to take the crown the NBA has to offer.
Words are sometimes overblown especially in the spectrum of sports but there was no better sentence uttered in the Cleveland and surrounding Ohio areas than by its native son LeBron James. The phrase “I’m coming home”has never meant so much to a city a town or even a culture than it did at that moment. With that proclamation Cleveland quickly and emerged as the favorite to win the less than stellar Eastern Conference. With the pairing of Kyrie Irving and acquisition of Kevin Love this team looked the part. Overcoming a slow start the Cavaliers came into form and took the NBA by storm lead by the best player in the world one LeBron James who constantly shows he is indeed the appropriate face of league. The sometimes dirty play of Matthew Delevedova had been great in the absence of Kyrie Irving due to injury. Tristan Thompson is going to help out his bank account with his play this season and in the playoffs as the best offensive rebounder in the NBA along with Iman Shumpert’s, J.R. Smith’s and Timifey Mozgov’s contributions has helped carry some of the load. Overall this finals should be a fun match up and be a test of wills that could go the distance and put an appropriate ending to an exciting NBA Season.
Match Up To Watch: Kyrie Irving’s return from injury and the play of Klay Thompson.
With LeBron James and Stephen Curry the two best players on the floor it will be interesting to see how the two other stars in Kyrie Irving who will be rested and ready with his ability to score from anywhere on the basketball court and Klay Thompson who is the best two way shooting guard int he league and the other half of the splash brothers step up and help carry the load in this championship chase.
Cleveland- J.R. Smith: J.R. has been a gift from above and if the Warriors give him an space to operate he can get hot and help contribute to Cleveland’s first title ever. Since leaving New York he has returned to his sixth man of the year form and was a steal for the Cavaliers.
Golden State- Harrison Barnes: Harrison Barnes is that fourth option for the high powered Warriors offense with his ability to stretch the floor and attack the basket from all angles. His contributions and his versatility defensively could be key for the Golden Gate Boys to win the championship.
Cavaliers Win Series 4-3.
While there has never been a jump shooting oriented team make it this far in the NBA playoffs it would be nice to see them close the deal, but with that being said this is not the year. While the Warriors are still young and could be back on this stage for years to come it is the Kings’ time. Despite all the injuries to the likes of Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and disagreements with coach David Blatt LeBron James is on a mission and will cap off his fifth straight finals appearance with his third NBA Championship and win his third NBA Finals MVP as well. In a hotly contested seven game series the Cavaliers will win a game seven in the hostile confines of Oracle Arena.