The JumpOff: A King or A Warrior- An NBA Finals Preview

Straight Up With Sturg
May 26, 2017 - 8:59 am

It may have felt like two years, but the Finals are finally here!  The two best teams in the NBA are set to take battle on the biggest stage.  It’s round three of the two most dominant teams this league has seen in a long time.  The last two teams to face each other in back to back Finals were Bulls/ Jazz, but no teams have faced each other for three straight years!  Some may consider this a rivalry, but due to the teams being completely different from the first year changes the narrative. Think about it. The first year didn’t feature Kyrie Irving. The Second year didn’t feature Draymond for a game and Bogut was lost. This year features a fully healthy Cavs and an additional player on the Warriors in KD.  What are some important factors to watch out for during the Finals?  Let’s just name a few.

The Cavs strength in this series is going to be their ability to crash the boards.  Love, Thompson, and LeBron can give the Warriors all they can handle when it comes to rebounding.  One major factor in last year series was Bogut. He caused issues for the Cavs to dominate the paint and the boards.  I don’t believe the Warriors have that presence in the paint this year which can benefit the Cavs.  I know what you are saying right now. They have JaVale McGee don’t they?  Yes, but now I want you to repeat that name outload and tell me he’s going to make the same  impact that Bogut was making before he went down.  Cleveland is the more talented team from top to bottom, but don’t play the style of team basketball as Golden State.  I would pick them easily if this was a game of one on one.  I believe the Cavs are more than capable of beating the Warriors, but they have to stay disciplined.  You cannot go in with the mindset that you are going to outscore the Warriors in a shoot- out.  Don’t even think you’re going to play an up and down game with them either.  Cleveland’s weakness is they have a tendency to rely on the three pointers too much.  Golden State salivates at the thought of having a three point extravaganza.  Defense will be a key to the Cavs being victorious, but how do you stop Golden State?

This may be the smartest team in NBA history. They feature four All- NBA players, and a head coach with championship DNA. Kobe Bryant gave a very detailed explanation on how it is extremely difficult to guard the Warriors. Unlike traditional teams, Golden State run their offense through their PF and not the PG.  Draymond has several options when he has the ball in the paint. He can either look for the cutting man, or take his man off the dribble. The difficult part to guard is trying to run through several top of the key screens they hit you with. The Warriors unselfish offense is designed to exploit any mistake you make on the defensive end. Cavs coach Ty Lue came out and actually said that the Celtics offense is more complicated than the Warriors.  If you believe that, then I have a black and gold unicorn that poops Pittsburg Steelers memorabilia.  There has never been a team built like the Warriors.  It’s really picking your poison with this squad.   You want to focus on Steph, but that will allow KD to get off. You can’t focus on those two because that allows Klay to roam.  Don’t forget it was Draymond who carried the team in game 7 of last year’s finals. They are loaded!  I thought the bench of this team came up huge last year, and this year’s version is not as strong in my opinion.

At the end of the day it’s going to come down to whoever is the most discipline. Will the Cavs not have mental lapses?  Will the Warriors not go through a stretch of getting bored and blowing a lead?  How healthy will Steve Kerr be?  So many questions to be answered, but we will all know come June 1st.   This should turn out to be an interesting series. Who will win?  I guess we’ll have to watch and see if a warrior can take down a king.  


Tyler Butler ( Straight Up With Sturg)

You can find me on Twitter - @bspodcast864 or Tyler7772    Facebook: Tyler Butler

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