Latest posts by Raphael Haynes (see all)
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This is what most predicted before the season. The series ended 4-2 last year as the Golden State Warriors defeated a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA Championship. The Warriors have a chance to become the greatest team ever by statistical measures and the Cavaliers has a chance to put Cleveland on the map for good.
Keys To The Game
Cleveland must attack the rim. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers have hoisted three pointers in record fashion. Playing against the Warriors, they should abandon that philosophy and take it to the basket. Outside of the seldom used Andrew Bogut, the Warriors have no semblance of a rim protector. By attacking the basket, they not only get higher percentage shots, they also will draw fouls. The Warriors need to keep doing what they’ve been doing. This series, Cleveland’s man-to-man’s defense is not as good the Oklahoma City Thunder’s defense so Golden State might not have to sweat as much on offense. Defensively, it gets more difficult with the Cavaliers offensive threats. With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s ability to score individually and the three point shooters in Kevin Love J.R. Smith and Channing Frye, they have to play team defense and create difficult looks for the others.
The X-Factors for the Cavaliers is Tristian Thompson and Channing Frye. Thompson will get the opportunity to get at least 16 rebounds a game with all of the three pointers being attempted in the series. Also his defensive rotation has to be crisp as he will get a lot of work from Stephen Curry dribbling and driving and Draymond Green creating as well. Frye on the other hand needs to knock down his three point attempts. He will get plenty of looks with James and Kyrie attacking the rim.
The X-Factor for the Warriors is Andre Iguodala. Iguodala will see a lot of LeBron James and he could be the X-Factor for the entire series if he’s able to contain him. Also his energy off the bench is paramount for the second unit. A thunderous dunk or a acrobatic layup gets the crowd and his team going.
Prediction: The Warriors will still be on a high and will blow away the Cavaliers 117-105.