(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers: Warriors in 5
Although I’d be surprised to see the Cavaliers challenge the Warriors, I learned my lesson last year to never count out LeBron James. I bet against him last year, and he proved to me that he’s still the best player I’ve ever seen (I didn’t see Michael Jordan in his prime). LeBron has showed the league this postseason that he’s still the best player in the world. He may not be in his prime, but he’s put the Cavaliers on his back and led them to their third straight NBA Finals appearance. But for the third straight year, the Cavaliers will be facing the Golden State Warriors. Unlike the last two NBA Finals matchups, the Warriors have a new best player. Stephen Curry is amazing, but he’s not as good as Kevin Durant. The Warriors were able to pry away Durant from Oklahoma City in the offseason. Although they didn’t win as many regular season games as last year (they weren’t trying to beat the record and wear themselves out before the playoffs), they’ve proven this postseason that they are even better than last year’s team. This Warriors bunch may be the greatest collection of basketball talent on one team in NBA history. Durant, Curry, and Draymond Green have all played at a high level throughout the playoffs. Star Splash Brother Klay Thompson has struggled with his shot this postseason, but he’s made up for his offensive struggles with stellar play on the defensive end of the floor. If he finds his shot, the Warriors might sweep their way to the championship. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Warriors complete the sweep, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cavaliers pull off a victory in two games in this series. I don’t think they’ll be able to win more than two, so I’ll split the difference and give them one win in the series. I think they’ll be able to win game three at home before losing games four and five to give Golden State their second championship in three years. It’s hard to count out the Cavaliers because they have the LeBron factor, but this Warriors team is so much more talented than last year’s team that should’ve won the championship. I hope the series is competitive, but I don’t think the Warriors will have many issues dispelling the Cavaliers in five games.