For the 5th year in a row we find ourselves glued to the television in anticipation to see Lebron James take the floor in chase for a title. Somehow, the Association always manages to give the world audience exactly what they want to see. Sports rely on superstars for ratings. Whether it is the Spanish League in soccer, Serena in Tennis, Tiger in Golf, Brady and Manning in football, the people watch so they can witness greatness. When it comes to the NBA we are going to clamber to see James, and Adam Silver’s presentation does not disappoint this year. So many headlines and ironic situations will play out in the series that may cause this to go down as one of the most watched ever. The 2014-2015 NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry has been the spark plug, the flame, and the fire for the Golden State Warriors and the Association. The lightning quick release, and the crazy handle will be on display for millions in June. However, Lebron James will win his 3rd NBA championship and Finals MVP against the Warriors.
Let’s look at the not so obvious statistical reasons why the Cavaliers will beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals. Lebron is—the different type of Jordan of our era. He is the flawed version, the non-cold blooded, the team oriented version of Mike. If Lebron had went to college and played under a coach that drove him to dominate, he may have turned out more like Michael but he didn't. Young Lebron was beat up by his older brothers as he matured in the association. The older veteran Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics kept him from multiple Final visits early on in his career, but once he reached what I categorize as NBA puberty Lebron superseded his "older brothers" and began to beat up on them and the rest of the league. Throughout James career he has struggled against older ball clubs. The remnants of the 90's basketball teams and players who really know the game and know how to capitalize on weaknesses and exploit mismatches. The same bully ball that drove Lebron to become great will drive Lebron to "bully" this Golden State school yard team.
There is no doubt that the Golden State Warriors are a talented crew. With the prolific back court gunners of Klay and Steph, offensively there is no shortage of talent or skill level on the Western conference finalist. However, collectively they are a young ball club. Both young in age and young in playoff experience. Even the so-called veterans on this team have very little post season experience. Their most prominent and most contributor bench players consist of Andre Iguodala who has been out of the 1st round once his entire career before this season. Shaun Livingston and David Lee both provide depth off the bench for Steve Kerr but with 4 post season appearances between the two of them, the Warriors do not seem to have the "know-how" to pull off a NBA finals win. Lebron on the other hand has been here before, and he will have the opportunity to flex on the junior high team from Golden State.
When you look at the teams that have taken Lebron down in the past (Mavericks and Spurs) they had legit Lebron "stoppers" or at least cogs that could be thrown in to give the mach truck a spare tire. In 2007, other than the fact that Lebron's supporting cast looked like a bad sitcom he had to face a Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker all who were in their prime. The next Spurs team to erase Lebron's championship hopes were the Kawhi Leonard led Spurs and Kawhi himself ended up being a sizable-even match up for Lebron. A younger specimen who could match Lebron's athleticism, and basketball IQ. The Maverick's team that beat the Heatles when Lebron first anchored on the shores of south beach, featured the likes of former Defensive POY Tyson Chandler, and clutch city Dirk Nowitzki. In this series Draymond, Iggy, and Harrison Barnes will be called upon to defend Lebron, all of whom are not capable of shutting him down.
Not only is Lebron James' opposing defender a favorable match up but the other starters are as well. JR and Shump will provide length, and veteran tangibles that the Warriors have not faced in the back court. Neither Memphis, the Clippers, or the Pelicans offered the defensively tenacious back court that the Cavaliers are bringing to the finals. Tristan Thompson is just as much of a dog as Draymond is. Mozgov is familiar with Andrew Bogut having gone against him during his tenure with the Nuggets.
The Warriors bench may have the talent advantage but Cleveland can pull out their 3 in 1 tool in Shawn Marion, and their security guard in Kendrick Perkins who between the two of them and James Jones should be able to match the production of Barbosa, David Lee, and Speights. By all means, this will be a daunting, arduous task for Mr. James, but it is a challenge in which he can succeed and capture his 3rd NBA championship and most likely Finals MVP.
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