Are any of you surprised at all? Come on be honest. The Thunder going up 3-1, taking advantage of how flat out poor the Warriors (and Steph Curry) were playing had everyone in fits. “The Warriors are a joke!” “What an overrated, overhyped squad!” Welp, Golden State is headed to the Finals for a second straight year after taking the Western Conference Finals (and the dignity) away from the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 7 the other night. The Warriors had a ton of hurdles to jump over to get back in the series, and getting Steph Curry back to the usual can’t miss, impossible to guard player we have come to know was first and foremost. For the first part of the WCF, Curry was getting outplayed and outworked by the Thunder backcourt. But when it needed to happen, the Warriors stepped up collectively, and took care of business in games 5, 6, and 7 to go to the Finals to face Cleveland.
Some might be saying, “We know who’s winning, don’t you remember last year’s finals?” Well haters, this Cavs squad is not anywhere close to the Cleveland LeBron’s we had to watch last year in the Finals. The King has his full squad healthy, and ready to go this time around. Bringing in a guy like Channing Frye to add a huge stretch 4, and at sometimes 5, to come off the bench, and getting Tyronn Lue to get the nod as head coach when they parted ways with David Blatt who never meshed with James, the Cavs look as strong as ever. Oh, and they have only lost 2 games this whole playoff campaign. They have been off for over a week just watching the Warriors continue to beat themselves down, in that physically and mentally draining 7 game series they just concluded.
The Finals begin tonight, and we are ready. LeBron gets to deal with the unbelievably emotional, and aggressive Draymond Green. Kyrie going up against Steph? You could argue that that's the two best ball handling PG’s in the league. Klay Thompson going up against most likely the combination of Shump and J.R. Smith: the matchups have me salivating. We have seen that Curry when defended close, and physically can be tamed for a while. Draymond is in his own head this whole playoffs to the point that he isn’t playing at the level that we know he can, so that means Klay Thompson is the key for both squads. If the Cavs let Thompson get off all those threes, he is going to hit them, and become deadly. It’s becoming apparent that Steph Curry relies a bit on Thompson getting hot, so that the defense can lose their focus with him. When the Splash Bros aren’t hitting, the Warriors are exposed, and very beatable. Cleveland will have to change the game plan they went with last year in the finals by doubling Curry just past half court, because Barnes, Iggy, Thompson, heck, even Mo Speights will gladly hit the open three. But it is different when you have a healthy and rested Love and Irving on the court, and to me that will be the difference this time around in the finals.
I was spot on with both the East and West Finals in how they went, and I don’t plan on wavering from that in my finals pick. Cavaliers in 6 games, with King James determined to show the league they made a mistake crowning Curry the Unanimous MVP. And you can take that to the bank people