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  • Don Collins

2018 NBA Finals Predictions



Overview

The NBA Finals are upon us! For all those that were tired of seeing the Warriors-Cavaliers matchup, I’m sorry. Part IV is going to be our final source of NBA basketball for the 20117-18 season and I personally am happy this way.

This is the first time in NBA history that a team has met four consecutive times in the Finals. There are some familiar faces, but a lot has changed since last June. The Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving in the offseason and at the trade deadline managed to flip almost the entire roster to improve. The postseason presented a litany of different emotions. First, the Cavs had to go to Game 7 with the Pacers. Then, there was the formation of the city of LeBronto. Last we checked, LeBron had established why you always want to have the best player when it comes down to a decisive game with his dominate performance over the Boston Celtics.


The Warriors made some additions to the bench rotation, but most of the core of the reigning champions is still in place. Where things changed for them was the competition they faced. Last year, they didn’t lose a game until Game Four of the final series. This year, they lost a game in both the first and second round before going 7 against a Houston team that couldn’t buy a bucket from deep.


Despite a tough series against the Rockets, the Warriors are still the largest favored team in 16 years in the Finals, according to ESPN.

Points of Emphasis

  • LeBron James is still on another level

  • Currently averaging 34 points per game (PPG), 9.2 rebounds per game (RPG) and 8.8 assists per game (APG) on 54 percent shooting from the field.*

  • The remarkable part is that he has also averaged 41.3 minutes in 18 contests thus far.*

  • Will the Cavs other players show up?

  • If the Cavaliers not named LeBron are as bad statistically as they have been in the previous 18 games, I don’t know how they manage to even win 1 game.

  • Steph Curry’s return to form

  • He seems to have regained his touch that makes him the star the entire organization gravitates around.

  • If he is like MVP Steph in this series… Yikes.

  • Andre Iguodala’s Injury

  • How Iggy rebounds from his leg injury matters.

  • The Warriors aren’t the same team with him sidelined or hobbled.

Prediction

I think this year’s Finals will be closer than people think. A lot closer to be exact. The Cavaliers have at times looked like they don’t belong in the playoffs all together, but that doesn’t matter anymore. They have to win 4 more games in their season. Golden State is an outrageous task in terms of trying to win another ring. But something is off about them this year.

I thought Houston exposed a way to make them sweat. If the Cavaliers can manage to force switches that will end up with LeBron being guarded by Steph Curry, they can exploit that in ways James Harden couldn’t.

The Cavaliers face a daunting task. When the Warriors are clicking, they are impossible to beat. But LeBron gives you a chance to win every game. I think a Finals win this year would catapult him to the top of a lot of people’s Mt. Rushmore. Add in a few details: 1) Alabama won another title this year. 2) He’s playing with house money. 3) The Warriors aren’t the exact same this year, but LeBron and his photographic memory has picked up on the Golden State schemes over the years. No one is expecting this group to get it done this year, but a familiar foe may result in a surprising outcome.

Cavs in 7.

I know how insane I must sound to predict the downfall of the Golden State Warriors, but I have seen LeBron do things I didn’t think were possible already. Houston gave the Cavs the blueprint with a switching defense and steady dosage of threes on offense. James is chasing ghosts. How about he adds ring #4 at the end of Part IV? Not that he needs to. He’s already the greatest player ever.

*All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.com*

#2018 #NBA #NBAFinals #ClevelandCavaliers #GoldenStateWarriors #LeBronJames #KevinDurant #StephenCurry #KyrieIrving #IndianaPacers #TorontoRaptors #ESPN

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