After a full one year wait, the most predictable finals matchup is officially here. A lot has happened since the buzzer sounded and Lebron James ran into Kevin Loves arms. A great player joining the already great team. A Halloween party that had plenty of 3-1 jabs. The Christmas Day game which had another Kyrie game winner. The nearly identical way in which neither team had an MVP candidate (Although both teams have two). The also nearly identical way both teams steamrolled in the playoffs. Now that all of that is out of the way, we can finally have all of the questions that have been asked tirelessly answered. Will “Super Steph” show up? Is Kevin Durant ready? Is Klay Thompson alive? Can Kyrie do it again? Let’s get to the most important question though… Will this define Lebron’s legacy?
To save suspense, yes! This is the most important finals of Lebron’s career. There’s really no argument here. Lebron’s Heat fling was really just the plane getting off the runway and everybody knew he could fly. The question is what can he do now that he’s in the air. Last years performance was amazing, but the NBA is all about multiple titles and dynasties, so one ring in Cleveland won’t cut it.
Maybe one day people will look back and realize just how hard of a task these NBA finals have been the last three years. Year one your top 2 players go down and you’re literally trying to play with some Australian point guard who can’t shoot. Year two you go up against a 73-9 team. Year three you manage to just get by that 73-9 team so they went and got the third best player in the league. The worst part about this scenario is a 1-2 record will be unacceptable by a lot of the sports world. And even harder to defend would be a total 3-5 record in the finals. At that point very difficult to be included in the Jordan comparison.
This series ultimately will decide which team has bragging rights over the last three years. If the Warriors win, they will point to the Draymond suspension as a terrible decision, and even with that lost in a game seven in the final minute. If the Cavs win, they will point to Kyrie and Kevin Love not being there in 2015, and still taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Cavs come in to this series as a huge underdog, something that still makes little sense to me. Right now the Cavs are +250 to win, which means if you bet $100 you would win $250 plus your $100 back. To put into perspective the last finals matchup with similar odds was the 2009 NBA finals. The Magic were +250 against the Lakers. The Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu Magic had no chance against the Kobe I want to prove I can win without Shaq Lakers! How can the Cavs be this undervalued with UNarguably the best player in basketball?! How does this not piss Lebron and co. off? Even after beating them last year, the Cavs still feel like the contender, not the champion.
This is why I feel the Cavs will win this series. Lebron somehow is playing on another level. (When does he hit max level?) He smells being in the same air as Jordan and is playing with more confidence I’ve ever seen. Kyrie wants it, and Love is starting to play well at the right time. On the other side KD was just quoted as saying “If I don’t win, it won’t change my life.”. Huh? Isn’t that why you came to to the Warriors? That doesn’t sound like someone who’s ready to go to war, and that’s what this series is going to be. Also Klay has been lost these playoffs. He will probably get it going in the finals but most likely at the cost of KD struggling. Steph should Steph but it will take more than that because Kyrie will offset a lot of he does.
X factors also favor the Cavs. Steve Kerr has been in bad shape and still doesn’t know if he will be on the floor. That was fine for Portland and Utah, but will hurt them in the finals. Also huge will be the battles inside with Thompson/Love and Draymond/Mcgee. I think this is another slight advantage Cavs.
With all this being said I still wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Warriors win the title. I just don’t feel it happens. I think it’s a close series 6 or 7 games with the Cavs pulling it off, and Lebron soaring even further into rare air with the greatest player the NBA has ever seen.