The 2017 Finals will be the first time that the same two teams will meet together for three years in a row. Thus far in the playoffs, the Warriors are 12-0, sweeping the Trail Blazers, Jazz, and Spurs. The Cavaliers are 12-1 in three rounds, sweeping the Pacers, Raptors, and then losing only one game to the Boston Celtics. LeBron is also the first player in NBA history to appear in eight straight NBA Finals. SportsCenter released the players who have the best odds to win Finals MVP with Kyrie Irving with 10-1 odds, LeBron with 12-5 odds, and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant both with 8-5.
There will be seven total All-Star’s on the two teams, LeBron, Kyrie and Kevin Love for the Cavaliers and then Curry, Durant, Thompson, and Draymond Green for the Warriors. Last Finals, LeBron led his team to victory over the 73-9 Warriors to claim the title that Golden State had won the year previous. This time, the Warriors have Kevin Durant, who with his tall, lengthy build, should be able to put up some great numbers, along with deadly range and average defense on a three or four player on the Cavs.
I was originally hoping that the Warriors would play small against Cleveland, starting Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant, and Green, but pretty sure they won’t. If they did run small, the Cavs lineup could look like Kyrie, J.R. Smith, LeBron, Love, and Thompson. Love and Durant are the same height and so are Draymond and Thompson, so those match-up’s could work. I have been seeing however, that LeBron could be guarding Draymond who is going to be a threat from everywhere. He’ll be a presence on defense, from three point land, from mid-range, and just an overall crafty big man.
The key players for each team are going to be Draymond and Kyrie Irving. If Kyrie has even one off game, the Warriors are going to be pounce off of that, and score their fast-break points, which they led the league in this season. It would be odd if Kyrie were to have an off day, because the man is just so deadly from every aspect on the court. Draymond on the other hand is the same way. He is deadly from every point on the court, he can do everything, and no matter who they put on him he will have great games.
This series will be the true testament to who is the best in the league. With this being the third time in a row that they are playing each other, it is like an old best two-out-of-three rock, paper, scissors game. My personal pick is going to be the Warriors in seven. It is going to be a thrilling, hop out of your chair series, and that’s what these two teams have given the NBA for three seasons now.