Analyzed Sports | S.K. Patrick
Cavs vs Warriors: Deja Vu Anyone?
The matchup many predicted before the season is upon us. The NBA finals have become a yearly T.V. show to start off summer. Once again we have the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors for the fourth season. The NBA sports community might have preferred the Houston Rockets or the Boston Celtics to introduce new blood to the NBA Finals.
Both teams went the full mile in Game 7. Thanks to their usual strong second half — along with the Rockets completely forgetting how to shoot — the Warriors emerged with a 101-92 victory. The Cavs shut down the Boston Celtics. The loss of 87-79 was the first home lost of Boston this playoff series.
How Can the Cavs win?
So Lebron is probably going to have to average a triple double. But the key to the serious is Kevin Love playing at his All State level and the role players contributing something stronger overall than they have in the playoffs. The Cavs role players finding another gear and knocking down shots will be imperative. While playing better on offense the physicality of defending the Dubs will take a toll on the second and finals inexperience 2nd unit of the Cavs. The defensive intensity is the only chance for this Finals to be remotely competitive.
A defense that was towards the bottom in the NBA during the regular season. Thus far they have managed to hover around the league average in the postseason, allowing 105.9 points per 100 possessions. But against the Warriors high powered offense they will have to play like a top 5 defense. Even with the Cleveland defense playing better they have posted six games in which they allowed more than 110 points per 100 possessions. If the Warriors match that number it will spill doomed. The Cavs have to find a way to be more disciplined and consistent for 48 minutes against a Warriors team that doesn’t need much daylight to blow a game wide-open. And the third quarter must be handle wisley by the Cavs because as seen in the Rockets series, no halftime lead is safe.
How Can the Warriors Win?
Injures right now are the biggest issue for the Warriors. They will need to find a consistent fifth player alongside their stars. Usually that would Andre Iguodala, but it remains unclear when Iguodala will be able to return while dealing with a leg injury. Steve Kerr will have to rotate Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney, Shaun Livingston and Nick Young in that spot. Livingston has championship DNA but the others lack deep playoff experience to be 100% trusted. None offers the combination of floor spacing and defense that makes Iguodala one of best NBA role players.
With the leadership of Iguodala missing can the Warriors stay motivated? It has been a story all year long as they get carless with shots and the basketball. Maybe it was the Warriors being bored with the lack of competition but sometimes they played down to their competition. Kerr has tried every trick to keep the team focused, even including letting some players coach the team. In the postseason, we’ve seen this manifest in dominant wins followed by shocking losses.