Warriors can’t take Cavs for granted when they meet in the Finals
The Santa Clara
May 18, 2017
Last week, Sports Editor Andrew Slap wrote an article claiming that there is “no doubt” that Golden State will win this year’s championship and that the “play- offs are merely a formality.” However, with LeBron James likely waiting in the Finals, the playo s will be anything but a formality.
The Warriors and Cavaliers matchup has turned into today’s premier basketball rivalry, and if the two are to meet again in the NBA Finals this year, it may go down as one of the greatest rivalries ever.
The Warriors further sparked the feud by adding Kevin Durant, but to say that the Cavaliers have no chance seems to be a gross exaggeration. Cleveland has one of the best basketball players ever on their side and the perfect supporting cast. The Cavs have cruised to a perfect 8-0 record so far in the playo s, sweeping Indiana and Toronto, while looking absolutely dominant in the process.
It is simply not smart to bet against James. He took the Warriors to their breaking point in a six game series by him- self in 2015. And when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were healthy, James brought home Cleveland’s rst professional sports title in 52 years.
Just like the Warriors added Durant, the Cavs got better too, adding Kyle Kor- ver, Deron Williams and Channing Frye. They didn’t add superstar-quality talent like Durant, but the Cavs already have their superstar cast.
Adding sharpshooters around the un- precedented slashing combo of James and Irving has made for one of the most lethal o enses in NBA history.
James is currently on one of the most impressive playo runs in NBA history. He has appeared in six straight NBA Fi- nals (seven total) and has made it past the rst round of the playo s for 12 straight seasons.
So far in this playo campaign, James is averaging 34.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 7.1 APG and has improved his 2016-17 3-point shooting by 10 percent to 46.8.
LeBron looks as dangerous as ever and has never been surrounded by a more tal- ented team. The Cavs are shooting 43.4 percent from three as a team in the play- o s. Compare that to the Warriors’ 39.1 percent.
The two teams are on another col- lision course. However, to say that one team or the other has the championship wrapped up before the series even starts seems absurd.
It is more than likely that if the teams do meet, the series will go to seven games and the championship will be decided by just a few plays, like it was last year. If LeBron mistimes the block on Iguodala, or if Kyrie misses the go-ahead three, the Warriors would be two-time defending champions. And if the Cavaliers could come back from 3-1 down last year, any- thing can happen in this year’s Finals.
Both teams are better this year, al- though there is a strong argument that the Warriors are drastically more danger- ous with Durant.
Regardless, LeBron somehow also got better (if that’s possible) and has stronger teammates around him that complement his style of play. There’s no denying that having Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all on one team is scary. But they still fall short of the King. LeBron is destined to bring another title back to Cleveland.
Contact Bo Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.