2018 NBA FINALS - Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors IV - Preview + Predictions (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by Macpotata, May 29, 2018.

Put it out there
?

Draymond Green vs Tristan Thompson-Kardashian

  1. Draymond Green

    10 vote(s)
    45.5%
  2. Tristan Kardashian

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
  3. Priceys mum

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
  1. Macpotata

    Macpotata Club Legend

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Mar 17
    Posts:
    2,983
    Well it's finally here. After all the plots and story lines, was it really going to be any other way. The Cleveland Cavaliers go head to head with the Golden State Warriors for a 4th straight season. The first chapter saw a short handed Cavaliers outfit missing star duo Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving due to injury. Aussie born player Matthew Dellavedova played out of his skin in a niggling type role and produced some memorable moments as the Cavs shocked the basketball world taking a 2-1 series lead. LeBron James was conjuring up herculean like efforts and moving mountains propelling the Cavs to heights not foreseen but would ultimately come up short. The Warriors found out Cleveland winning a crunch game on the road squaring up the series 2-2 and took care of business on their home floor thanks to 37 from Steph Curry. LBJ's 40 wasn't near enough and was clearly carrying the Cavaliers team on his shoulders alone. The Warriors sealed the deal on the road with 25 each from Curry and Iggy, who was to win the MVP controversially despite LeBron James averaging 35.8 points per game, 8.8 assists and 13.3 rebounds. A triple double virtually in a finals series and not enough to win MVP was quite astounding to say the least.

    In an epic instalment to this new found rivalry The Warriors and Cavs would go toe to toe once more. The Warriors broke the record for most games won in a season beating the Jordan led Chicago Bulls of the 1990's. 73-9 was phenomenal, yet the Warriors found themselves on the verge of elimination trailing Oklahoma City in game 6 on the road already 3-1 down. The Warriors rallied as champions team do and pulled out a miraculous victory from the jaws of defeat eventually winning the series 4-3. The Cavs destroyed their whipping boys in a big game 5 seeing off Toronto by 38 clinching the next game in Canada. The Warriors looked to be in cruise control going up 2-0 at the Oracle and taking out game 4 in the Quicken Loans Arena. The parade in the streets was set to ensure after taking care of business on their home floor at Oracle but their was some controversy when Mr James did his all to get Draymond Green Suspended. In a miraculous first half shooting display from Irving and James the Cavs somewhat surprisingly sat level with the Warriors at 61 apiece. Irving and James ended the game with 41 each causing a massive boil over and halt to Oakland celebrations forcing a game 6 in Cleveland. 41 more points from James, 8 rebounds and 11 assists took the Cavs on the brink of the biggest comeback and upset in NBA Finals history. Cleveland prevailing 115 to 101. Game 7 - 27, 11 and 11 were James numbers and one of the famous shots in game 7 went to Aussie Born Kyrie Irving putting the Cavs up 3 after scores were tied with just 53 seconds on the clock. Equally as impressive was LeBron James stunning block on Andrre Iguadola when it was 89 apiece with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. The warriors went scoreless in the last 4 min and 39 seconds in the contest.





    2016/17 chapter 3 and by this stage Kevin Durant had joined what is now known as '' the Dark side '' forming a formidable allegiance with Curry, Thompson and Green. An All-Star cast which looked unstoppable was certainly proved that way as the Warriors triumphed with little fuss 4-1. Many have forecasted a similar score this time around, some even predicting a sweep. I'll make my prediction a little later but here is the tale of the tape.

    cavs.jpg VS

    warriors.jpg

    Cavs Regular season record 50 wins 32 losses
    Post Season Record 12-6
    Teams defeated in Playoffs - Indiana, Toronto, Boston
    Regular Season Meetings vs Warriors - 0-2

    Golden State Warriors regular season record - 58-24
    Post Season Record - 12-5
    Teams defeated in playoffs - Spurs, Pelicans, Rockets

    This is LeBron James 8 straight finals appearance and 9th in his career. He has a 3-5 record losing to the Spurs twice with the Cavs in 2007 and Heat in 2014, and twice to the Warriors in 2015 and 2018 as a Cav. He also lost to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 with the Heats first finals appearance.

    THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE



    LeBron James has been an unstoppable force in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

    In his fifteenth season in the NBA, and at 33 years of age, the four-time MVP has somehow dragged his Cleveland Cavaliers to a fourth straight Finals.

    James has averaged 34 points on 54.2 percent shooting, 9.2 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in 18 postseason games.

    For context, if those averages were to stay the same, they’d represent playoff career-highs for James in both points and assists.

    Again, in his FIFTEENTH season.

    “This is the best I’ve felt in my career,” James told reporters ahead of Game 1.

    Despite his historic postseason, Cleveland have been pushed to seven games on two separate occasions, and you can’t help but think an otherworldly LeBron James Finals performance will have little impact on the eventual outcome of this series if his teammates don’t show up.


    Andre Iguodala has been ruled out of Game 1, while Kevin Love remains a doubt.

    Both players are major contributors on their respective teams; Love more so than Iguodala, due mainly to the dearth of talent on the Cavaliers roster.

    But without Iguodala, the Warriors don’t have their No.1 option to defend James, and they lose an extra playmaker and final piece to their ‘Hamptons 5’ line-up.

    In last year’s finals, Golden State were a +60 in 141 minutes with Iguodala on the court, and a -26 in the 99 minutes that he was off.

    Love’s absence is a problem too — a dangerous scorer and elite rebounder — regardless of how good Jeff Green looked in Game 7 in Boston.




    THE SCHEDULE A.E.S.T

    Game 1: Friday, June 1 at Golden State, 11am.


    Game 2: Monday, June 4 at Golden State, 10am.

    Game 3: Thursday, June 7 at Cleveland, 11am.

    Game 4: Saturday, June 9 at Cleveland, 11am.

    *Game 5: Tuesday, June 12 at Golden State, 11am.

    *Game 6: Friday, June 15 at Cleveland, 11am.

    *Game 7: Monday, June 18 at Golden State, 10am.






    From NBA.COM

    Seen previously on “Cleveland vs. Golden State, NBA Finals”...

    That’s really how ABC’s broadcast of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals Thursday night should begin. The matchup of Eastern and Western winners that we’ve gotten, the one so many experts and “insiders” envisioned back in October, finally is here.

    It’s like a new season of “The Sopranos” or “The Walking Dead” or some other recurring, limited TV series. With a lower attrition rate of recognizable characters, at least.

    Some NBA aficionados might have preferred a championship round featuring the Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics or both, just to freshen things up and introduce some new blood to this ultimate playoff round. The media folks who’ll be covering it surely would have welcomed new storylines behind fresh faces.

    But there is an equally compelling argument to be made on behalf of Cavaliers-Warriors IV. Sports thrive on rivalries, and with four consecutive Finals clashes, this Cleveland-Golden State re-re-rematch arguably rates second only to the storied Celtics-Lakers struggle over the past 60 years.

    Until these two franchises locked horns for the first time in 2015, NBA opponents had only butted heads in consecutive Finals 12 times. Never had the same teams made it to three in a row. So history already has been made, with more likely to come.

    This might be, as some have suggested, the stiffest test yet for LeBron James in his nine Finals appearances. He leads a team with a predictably unreliable, or reliably unpredictable, supporting cast and is down one star sidekick, Kyrie Irving, from the Cavs squad that got dispatched in five games by Golden State a year ago. Yet at age 33, in his 15th season, James has appeared in all 100 Cleveland games so far and arguably produced -- “enjoyed” is too loaded a word given the Cavs’ many ups and downs -- his best performance ever.

    For Golden State, a season marked by boredom and a desire to manage injuries snapped into focus courtesy of a 2-3 deficit in the West finals. The Warriors’ famous offense hasn’t looked as well-oiled as in the past three years, though defensively they have dialed up the efforts and results as needed.

    The casts are as beloved or, er, be-hated as stars of an aging drama or comedy series: James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kevin Love (expected back from his concussion protocol of the East finals) and coaches Steve Kerr and Tyronn Lue. That sameness probably will keep this Finals strong with viewers nationally and globally, as everyone waits to see if Golden State goes up 3-1 or Cleveland ties 2-2 in the trophy count.

    If it’s the latter, of course, there will be clamoring for a tiebreaker, as in 2019 Finals. So be careful what you wish for.

    Three quick questions and answers
    1. Who guards LeBron? This is the first question (or should be) of every preview of every playoff series every year of James’ career since he first started qualifying in 2006. So far in this postseason, James has dealt with Indiana’s Bojan Bogdanovic and Lance Stephenson, Toronto’s OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam and Boston’s Marcus Morris with Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and other helpers. Now it’s old familiar -- wait a minute! If Andre Iguodala, the Warriors’ primary James assignment, isn't recovered from the bone bruise that sat him down in the Houston series, we will see Draymond Green, maybe some David West and younger defense-committee members. Iggy is Golden State’s preferred option, not just to pester and deny the Cavs’ star at one end but to attack to make James work as a defender himself.

    2. Who guards Kevin Durant? And as soon as you answer that question, tell us who guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and Green and... That’s always the problem with the Warriors, the sheer number of scoring weapons they can throw at any defensive game plan. Since Cleveland ranked 29th of the 30 teams in defensive rating, it will rely more on individual matchups and adjustments -- the way Lue went to Tristan Thompson or Larry Nance up front as he saw fit to prompt or counter Boston's tactics. Still, as far as Durant goes, Jeff Green is a mobile wing new to this series and Rodney Hood might have been as well, if he hadn’t dropped out of Lue’s rotation weeks ago.

    3. Does this whole thing get decided in the third quarter? The old cliché about the NBA was that you could watch the last five minutes and see everything you need. Updated to 2018 with these combatants, those first 12 minutes after halftime loom as pivotal. The Cavaliers have had a bad habit of coming out flat in the third quarter this postseason -- they have been outscored 438-437 in their 18 playoff games and have hit just 34.6 percent of their shots. Golden State, by contrast, is relentless in the third. In their 17 playoff games to this point, the Warriors outscored teams by 130 points in the third quarter, compared to a total of 20 points in the other three


    quarters combined. They hit 51.9 percent of their shots while averaging a lethal 30.5 points in that period. Fixing their leaks while slowing down the Californians just in the third quarter could swing a couple games.





    [​IMG]
    Look back at the moments that have sparked the Warriors-Cavs rivalry.
    The number to know
    4.5 -- The Warriors have been the postseason's most improved defensive team, having allowed 4.5 fewer points per 100 possessions in the playoffs (99.7) than they did in the regular season (104.2). It was on defense where the Warriors fell off (and ranked ninth) in the regular season, but they've had the No. 1 defense in each round of the playoffs thus far. They've held their three opponents -- San Antonio, New Orleans and Houston -- to 5.2, 9.2 and 11.9 fewer points per 100 possessions than they scored in the regular season, respectively.

    The Cavs have had the second most improved defense in the playoffs, having allowed 3.6 fewer points per 100 possessions (105.9) than they did in the regular season (109.5). Of course, they had more room for improvement, having ranked 29th, and their best round defensively in regard to holding an opponent under its regular season mark for offensive efficiency (they held Boston to 3.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than it scored in the regular season) wasn't as good as the Warriors' worst round. Still, since the league started counting turnovers in 1977 (41 seasons), no other team had ranked in the bottom three defensively in the regular season and gone on to win a playoff series. So the Cavs have already made history in winning three. -- John Schuhmann

    Making the pick
    In a brief interview with TheAthletic.com immediately after the Warriors’ Game 7 victory in Houston Monday, team owner Joe Lacob said: “Sort of tired of Cleveland, to be honest. But having said that, LeBron James is an immense challenge, an incredible player. It’ll be fun.” Familiarity might grow more respect between the principals in this series -- James seems to get along swimmingly with Durant, while no NBA player past or present denies James’ talents and achievements -- but it also famously breeds contempt. Green and James have a history, fans on both sides have honed their heckling over three years and probably both the Warriors and the Cavaliers would have welcomed a change of foe. The regular-season series went handily 2-0 to Golden State, but they faced each other way back on Christmas Day and MLK Day -- and, in fact, it was Cleveland’s low-energy performance in the second meeting that led to its big roster makeover at the trade deadline. Those moves, exciting at the time, have meshed slowly and inconsistently, leaving James to again shoulder too great a burden. He carried a 2015 Cavs team subbing in Matthew Dellavedova for Kyrie Irving to six games vs. Golden State, but the Warriors were new to this themselves then. This time may go down like a rerun -- or “encore presentation,” as they say in the world of TV series -- of 2017. Warriors in 5.


    My gut feel is the Warriors in 6 although 5 does seem logical. I'm going to give credit to LeBron and throw in an extra W only because it's him. He once again single handedly carried this team on his shoulders and dragged them over the line with another monster effort against the Celtics.

    MVP - Steph Curry to break through and get his first one.

    What are your predictions? Series Winner? MVP? Flop and perhaps an unexpected hero.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
    shaztec, NSWCROW and Matera92 like this.

    (Log in to remove this ad.)

  2. LB#16

    LB#16 Premiership Player

    Essendon
    Other teams:
    Miami Heat
    Joined:
    Mar 10
    Posts:
    4,170
    Location:
    Central Victoria
  3. Macpotata

    Macpotata Club Legend

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Mar 17
    Posts:
    2,983
    4 years straight what a ****en joke.
     
  4. catpremier 07

    catpremier 07 All Australian

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Jan 08
    Posts:
    727
    Location:
    ...
    Not even lebron can pull this off.
     
    Macpotata and SilentHunter_ like this.
  5. Adelaide Hawk

    Adelaide Hawk Hall of Famer

    Hawthorn
    Other teams:
    Norwood
    Joined:
    Sep 02
    Posts:
    42,422
    Location:
    Adelaide
    This is the problem I have with East meeting West in the final. Warriors v Rockets should have been the final.
     
  6. The King!

    The King! Supervisor

    Sydney
    Other teams:
    Cavs, Redsox, Patriots
    Joined:
    Aug 04
    Posts:
    79,185
    Location:
    Backwater
    Cavs In 6

    Lebron to average 42-15-15

    Love to shock the world and average 18
    Pts a game

    Maybe I’m drunk
     
    BEEG, Genesis67 and Macpotata like this.
  7. SilentHunter_

    SilentHunter_ Brownlow Medallist

    Sydney
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Sep 14
    Posts:
    11,605
    Location:
    Terra firma
  8. nahnah

    nahnah Brownlow Medallist

    Collingwood
    Other teams:
    Cavs, Browns, Man City
    Joined:
    Sep 12
    Posts:
    13,378
    Love to shoot 18% from 3 is more likely
     
    Matera92, herculez09 and The King! like this.
  9. jdz101

    jdz101 Norm Smith Medallist

    Western Bulldogs
    Other teams:
    Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics
    Joined:
    May 16
    Posts:
    7,416
  10. The King!

    The King! Supervisor

    Sydney
    Other teams:
    Cavs, Redsox, Patriots
    Joined:
    Aug 04
    Posts:
    79,185
    Location:
    Backwater
    The east was promising and looking good it seems

    Until lebron gets through then it’s weak again
     
    Superstar swan and Macpotata like this.
  11. Gak Attack

    Gak Attack Brownlow Medallist

    Richmond
    Other teams:
    Liverpool, Houston Rockets
    Joined:
    Jun 09
    Posts:
    12,495
    Location:
    Launceston
    So when does Love get injured?
     
    Adelaide Hawk and Macpotata like this.

    (Log in to remove this ad.)

  12. Gak Attack

    Gak Attack Brownlow Medallist

    Richmond
    Other teams:
    Liverpool, Houston Rockets
    Joined:
    Jun 09
    Posts:
    12,495
    Location:
    Launceston
    Who said the east was promising? It has been pretty accepted the West had far superior teams, the Easts top team always shits the bed in playoffs and a team missing two of its best 3 players went to game 7 of the conference finals.

    As brilliant as Bron is I'd be amazed if they get a win but hope they do. The supporting cast is just too putrid.
     
    Macpotata likes this.
  13. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

    West Coast
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    May 13
    Posts:
    9,483
    LeBron is freerolling this one.
     
  14. QuietB

    QuietB Brownlow Medallist

    Hawthorn
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    May 08
    Posts:
    19,463
    Location:
    Melbourne
    How good are the Warriors going? Needed 45 points from Curry/Klay/Durant outside the arc at way over 40% to beat the Rockets today who kissed 27 in a row.

    Can the Cavs stifle the Warriors offence in the same way?

    Are the Warriors going good enough to blow the Cavs away?

    Can anyone on the Warriors stop LeBron at all?

    I’m not sure this is so clear cut
     
    Macpotata likes this.
  15. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

    West Coast
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    May 13
    Posts:
    9,483
    Cavs paying $7.50 at the moment.

    In comparison they were only paying $2.80 at the start of the 2016 Finals v the 73 win Warriors.
     
  16. dave123

    dave123 Premiership Player

    West Coast
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Apr 10
    Posts:
    4,222
    Location:
    somewhere
    It’s a great match up

    Houston rely on too much on harden and cp3

    I’m glad it ended up this way ...it’ll be a great series I think

    Warriors in 7
     
    Macpotata likes this.
  17. PP34

    PP34 Finals MVP

    Carlton
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Oct 09
    Posts:
    23,935
    I think it actually would have been a cracker of a matchup if Durant never went to the Warriors. Last year you would have had Curry trying to lead his team to redemption while LeBron tries to add to his dominance. Then this season (assuming the Warriors still get there) you get another sequel with LeBron on another level.

    Instead it's just a shitty one sided matchup with Durant thinking he's proving the haters and "blog boys" wrong because he's winning important basketball games even though he's playing with 3 other all stars.

    Last year was boring. This year will only be worse. Don't think I've ever been less excited about a finals matchup in my time following the NBA. I actually feel sorry for LeBron this year. He'll probably put up some ridiculous numbers once again and he'll still have all these idiots bashing him because his team will probably be lucky to win a game.

    Amongst my mates the NBA chatter has dried up completely since the CP3 injury. I don't think any neutrals really care that much now.
     
    Macpotata likes this.
  18. PP34

    PP34 Finals MVP

    Carlton
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Oct 09
    Posts:
    23,935
    The Warriors aren't as locked in as they were last season, but they were also facing a very good Houston team. A team in my opinion that would win a championship in any other recent season other than against the Warriors last year.

    I can't see how this series could possibly even be close. Last season the Cavs were still an amazing offensive team which won them a game and got them close to stealing another if not for some Durant heroics. Defensively they had no answer for Curry and Durant two man action and anything Durant did with the basketball. LeBron was able to roam defensively against Boston because their offence didn't have much firepower. The Warriors offence doesn't allow anyone to pick and choose when they play defence. LeBron is also going to be carrying a ridiculous load offensively again.

    It doesn't even matter if the Warriors slow down LeBron or not. They don't need to. He put up insane numbers last year and they only got 1 game. That was also with Irving putting up 29ppg or something.


    The Cavs simply don't have the defence and offensive weapons to keep up with the Warriors. Something would have go to terribly wrong for the Cavs to win this series.
     
  19. fidstar

    fidstar Norm Smith Medallist

    West Coast
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    May 13
    Posts:
    9,483
    Colin Cowherd just said the Warriors can't be a dynasty... Hot favorite to win 3 out of 4 and a couple of possessions away from winning the other one? Not a dynasty.

    He then proceeded to name the 80s Piston team as a dynasty.

    He then said Houston were the better team when Chris Paul was on the floor... with a graphic that showed they were minus 8 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.

    I know, I deserve what I get for listening to him.
     
  20. hamG

    hamG Premiership Player

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Atlanta Hawks
    Joined:
    Nov 07
    Posts:
    4,803
    Location:
    Kew
    I'm sure his mates Peter Pidgeonflock and Larry Lionpride are with him.
     
    Look2Me4Guidance and CurryMagic like this.
  21. Macpotata

    Macpotata Club Legend

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Mar 17
    Posts:
    2,983
    Good post. I completely agree. I'm still somewhat excited because it is the NBA finals but more so just for that reason. It's the NBA finals. More nostalgia than anything else.

    IMO when LBJ went to Miami and then Durant going to GSW they ****** up the NBA. At least LBJ and the heat gave us that famous 7 game series with the Spurs and the most famous shot of all time imo Ray Allen's clutch 3 in game 5. That was ridiculous.
     
  22. Macpotata

    Macpotata Club Legend

    Geelong
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Mar 17
    Posts:
    2,983
    I don't think the Cavs will win and like most I'm tipping The Warriors. Who can forget LBJ's heroics however in 2015 playing short handed and in 2016 when they were down 3-1. The problem is there's no Irving this time around.
     
  23. jdz101

    jdz101 Norm Smith Medallist

    Western Bulldogs
    Other teams:
    Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics
    Joined:
    May 16
    Posts:
    7,416
    Should be 51 bucks
     
  24. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

    Richmond
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    May 05
    Posts:
    75,156
    So which team will the refs favour?
     
  25. SilentHunter_

    SilentHunter_ Brownlow Medallist

    Sydney
    Other teams:
    Joined:
    Sep 14
    Posts:
    11,605
    Location:
    Terra firma