I can’t recall the last time that the NBA Finals were this exciting! The Cleveland Cavaliers currently lead 2-1 over the Golden State Warriors. Coming into the playoffs, the Warriors were favored to win their first championship since the 1974-75 season. However, the Cavaliers have embraced their underdog role, and have taken on a us-against-the-world mentality. LeBron James has single-handedly controlled the pace of the series, slowing down the tempo of the Warriors, which has thrown off their flow and chemistry. Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of each team’s play so far in the Finals and predict the outcome of this series.
Golden State Warriors
Positives: They’ve trailed the majority of this series so far, and only find themselves down 2-1. This series could easily be 3-0 for the Cavaliers. Stephen Curry, this year’s regular season MVP, hasn’t played up to his ability so far in the finals. He got hot in the 4th quarter of Game 3, but it was it a little too late. If he can carry that over into Game 4, and the role players contribute like they have been doing in the first three rounds, they have a chance to play themselves back into this series.
Negatives: They look like a completely different team from the regular season and in the first three rounds. It looks like they lost their confidence after getting punched in the mouth by the Cavaliers. Watching Game 3, they looked confused, frustrated, and at times, lackadaisical. They didn’t seem to have to fire, drive, and passion of winning that the Cavaliers were playing with. They better wake up now if they want to make this a series. Tonight’s game is a must win.
Positives: They’ve been playing like a team possessed so far in the Finals! LeBron James is playing like the best player in the world! He’s carrying his team on his back while doing everything humanly possible to deliver a championship to the city of Cleveland. The Cavaliers defense has been outstanding to this point, and they’ll look to continue that trend tonight. They’re up 2-1 with Game 4 tonight in Cleveland. If they win tonight, this series is pretty much over.
Negatives: Matthew Dellavedova has been playing out of his mind, taking over the starting point guard position with the injury to Kyrie Irving. With him in the lineup, they haven’t missed a beat. Not only is he providing an offensive spark for the Cavs, his defense on Curry has been nothing short of spectacular. Can we expect this to continue? Can he keep up this level of play? I don’t think he’ll disappear all of a sudden but I also don’t think he can continue playing at this level.
The Warriors will come out with intensity tonight, something they haven’t shown enough of in this series, and win Game 4. Mark my words, Stephen Curry will come to play! The series will go back to Oakland tied 2-2. With 2 out of the last 3 games in Oakland, the Warriors will be rejuvenated, reclaiming their home court advantage. The games will be close, with LeBron and Curry leading their respective teams. All said and done, I’m sticking with my initial prediction. Call me crazy but I still feel the Warriors will win the NBA Championship in seven games. What’s your take?