Yes, this is a Lakers site but I am a basketball fan first and foremost. And today, the Finals begin and the tug-of-war for the championship will commence. To be clear, I have no horse in this race. Those who know me personally know that my wife has ties to the Warriors and, thus, is a fervent fan of theirs. So, if the Dubs win, my life is easier (happy wife, happy life, as the saying goes). But, beyond that, I really don’t care who wins. I just want a good, competitive series befitting of these two excellent teams.
I especially want this now, after these playoffs. Collectively, this postseason has been basura. The Warriors and Cavs have played, probably, a combined one or two compelling games in 25 total contests to this point. And while there have been some other good games (and a few excellent ones), I can’t think of one memorable series; one matchup that I will actually remember a year from now. I hope the Finals changes that. As basketball fans, I think we’ve earned it. After all, we were told this series was coming for the past 9 months. Now it’s here. Time to live up to the hype.
As for this series, I am on the fence as to who I think will actually win. I’m not big on predictions, though I do enjoy being right (as we all do).
I understand what the conventional wisdom is. The Warriors should win and do so handily. The most common prediction I’ve seen is that the Warriors will win in 5 games. This makes sense. Last year they were up 3-1 in the series before a Draymond suspension set the wheels in motion for the Cavs comeback. Add Kevin Durant to the mix and this version of the Warriors is even better. They’re also almost fully healthy (Iguodala is dealing with some knee issues that cost him time in the WCF) and are playing exquisite basketball. They are a juggernaut and it’s difficult to see any team beating them 4 times in 7 games.
That said, I cannot shake the sense that these Cavs are ready to test them and turn this into a competitive series. LeBron James is an all-time great. He’s the rare generational talent where just having him ups your odds at not just competing, but winning any game against any opponent. Add to him Kyrie (who is evolving into one of the better “big game/moment” players in the league) and Kevin Love (who is playing the best he has as a Cav) and the talent gap between this team and the Warriors isn’t so large.