Official NBA Finals Preview: The Trilogy

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After an underwhelming NBA Playoffs, the NBA Finals are upon us as the Warriors and Cavs cruised to the championship with one loss between the two (fewest ever for a Finals matchup) like most thought they would when the regular season tipped off back in October. It all gets going Thursday night on ABC at 9 P.M. EST as the Dubs look to avenge last year’s nightmare when they blew a 3-1 lead and everybody has made sure to not let them forget about it.

All the pressure in the world will be on Kevin Durant, as he looks to capture his first NBA title and validate making his way to the Bay. KD has averaged a cool 26 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists the last two series, powering the dubs to an undefeated sprint through the West.

Last year’s Finals gave us a signature game 7 with moments that may never be replicated again going forward. Between Kyrie’s shot or LeBron’s chase down block, which I watch weekly trying to dissect how he pulled it off or just ending a 52-year city-wide championship drought.

Think about it, this go-around of the trilogy features SEVEN ALL-STARS, with some of the biggest names in the game at the apex of their careers. Steph vs Kyrie, LeBron vs KD, Draymond vs K-Love. Could it really get much better than that? Both of these teams are so special I can confidently say they’d wipe the floor with 80% of the champions in the last 40 years. This rivalry features two of the best offenses the association’s playoffs has ever seen. Great spacing, imploring small-ball while hitting threes at a historic clip, but still upholding explosive efficiency ratings.

I want to use this platform to pour one out for David Blatt who got a raw deal in Cleveland. Even Mike Brown somehow gets a crack at the franchise who fired him on two separate occasions with only one losing season at the helm. Storylines on storylines here people.

It’s a shame on the eve of one of the best sporting events in America someone would vandalize LeBron James’ Los Angeles home using racial slurs. King James is a great role model and doesn’t have a bad bone in his body and people still feel the need to commit crimes like this. It puts into perspective how far we still have to go as a society, check out James answer above.

LTS:

Cavaliers-Warriors, both these teams know each other so well I’m just hoping for a close clean series, no injuries, no suspensions, just good basketball. X-factors: The Thompson Brothers: Klay has struggled for most of this post-season and if Cleveland wants to have a shot they need to limit Klay’s three-ball for J.R. Smith/Kyle Korver to have a chance at winning the match up. Klay will be crucial, as I expect the Cavs to live with Iggy and Draymond shooting threes and we’ve seen the damage he can do in a quarter of a big game, just ask KD.

Tristan Thompson has been a beast so far this post-season, holding down the paint with near double-double averages. If he can wreak havoc, huge advantage for Cleveland as the Warriors won’t be using a center down the stretch with a lineup of Steph-Klay-Iggy-KD-Dray. I’m very interested to see if Ty Lue uses Tristan or K-Love late in games because I don’t think there’s room for both unless one can get away with guarding Iggy/Durant.

If I’m the Cavs, my late game lineup is Kyrie-JR-Korver-LeBron-Tristan. Keep in mind Richard Jefferson finished game 7 for the Cavs last season, wild. This is the most star-studded Final I’ve ever seen and the crazy thing is, this could go on for another 4 or 5 years worth of classics. We’ll be in Fast and Furious franchise territory.

Does LeBron vault his name into the G.O.A.T. conversation with Jordan, or does Durant begin to decorate his potential top 20 resume? I’ll be pulling for Cleveland, but I think the Warriors offensive firepower will prove to be too much. The Cavs just won’t be able to get enough stops down the stretch to keep up. Logic says Warriors, but sometimes with all-time greats like LeBron, plain logic just doesn’t work.

Warriors in 6

DG: Clap it up to Sap, everyone. He did a really good job analyzing it all so I’ll keep my short and sweet aka There’s not too much for me to think about. One team has 4 all-stars. The other has Lebron James. I hate using the “But Lebron James is the best player on the planet” argument but he is. Lebron is the best and will need to be Superman this series, but more importantly, needs his cast to help him out. It’s kind’ve like he switched roles with the Mavs from a few years back. He’s Dirk now.

That being said, my logic comes down to this. When it’s the Warriors best day vs. the Cavs best day, who wins?

Warriors win in my mind every single time.

Warriors in 6

Check out our NBA Finals segment from the podcast last night with special guest, Jared Gos.

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