As the month of May starts to come to an end, there are two NBA teams that seem destined to contend for the championship. The Golden State Warriors are up 3-0 on a Houston Rockets team that seems to have given up. The Rockets showed the basketball world that they can be contenders when they want to be. They came back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Clippers in the last round.
They also played point for point with the Warriors in games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals. However, game 3 in Houston proved to be an embarrassment to their fans. The lackluster defense left the Warriors drive to the basket or dish it to the outside whenever they pleased. The inconsistent offense also caught up too them as they are too often caught ball watching and not generating enough movement. The Warriors should finish off the series tonight at 9:00 PM on ESPN. The Cleveland Cavaliers also seem to be close to achieving their first NBA Championship appearance in 8 years. With a 3-0 series lead on the Atlanta Hawks, they look to finish off the battle tomorrow in Atlanta. The three point shooting by the Cavaliers, and Lebron James literally forcing his way to the hoop has proved deadly to an Atlanta Hawks team that has no answer.
Although the Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals are not over, I would still like to predict a champion in the NBA finals. Shame on me if the either the Rockets or Hawks come back and win the series for the first time in NBA history. The Warriors are being led by the MVP himself, Stephen Curry. With a 40 point performance last game, he is averaging 30 PPG during the postseason. He has scored over 30 points in his last 4 games, and his team is on a roll. He is undoubtedly one of the top key players for Golden State if they want to become victorious over the Cavaliers in the finals. Another key player for Golden State will be Draymond Green. Although the Warriors may try to match up Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson on Lebron James, I believe Draymond Green could be most fit for the task. Lebron has proved that he’s too strong for the likes of Damare Carroll, and that he’s too quick for Paul Millsap. I think Draymond Green could be both big enough and fast enough to lower Lebron James’ impact on the game. Green also has had an eye for the basket during these playoffs as well. He is the third leading scorer for Golden State during these playoffs with 13.8 PPG. He will be a viable scorer during the NBA finals with his ability to shoot and get offensive put backs. Another key player for the Warriors is Shaun Livingston. His defensive presence will be needed against the Cavaliers sharp shooters such as J.R. Smith and James Jones. He also has the ability to score against smaller defenders with his length.
An obvious key player for the Cavaliers is Lebron James. Even if he starts off 0-10 FG, he can easily push his way to the rim to either get an easy lay-up or free throws. If that doesn’t work, Lebron also has the magic ability to get whatever he wants from the refs by complaining to them during the entire game. Tristan Thompson is another key player that can be undervalued by numerous teams. He’s averaging 4 offensive rebounds per game which makes him an extreme asset to the team. Those second chance opportunities is a factor that leads to losses for opposing teams. Lastly, Dellavedova has proven to be a trustworthy point guard for the Cavaliers in these past couple of games while Kyrie Irving has been out. He has an eye for the basket when it comes to the three point shot and will provide a spark off the bench in the NBA finals. He can come in if Kyrie ever feels shaky during the finals.
NBA finals winner prediction: Golden State Warriors in 6 games
Stephen Curry and the splash brothers will be too much to handle for Lebron and company with their unlimited range. It will come down to defense and who will be able to prevent Lebron from entering the lane.