Why the Warriors will win the NBA Finals

Ross Houston
May 31, 2017

Cleveland's coach ducked into the shadows, his preferred location. Seems like a long time, but I view pain as a good thing.

Curry was named the regular-season MVP for the last two seasons.

No one's going to blame you for picking the Cavs or picking James to win Finals MVP regardless of outcome. A student of the game, he's old school with a fresh perspective. Assistant Mike Brown-who coached James early on with the Cavaliers-has taken over for Kerr, who has been unable to coach due to a continuing back ailment. Durant has been terrific in his first postseason with the Warriors, averaging 25.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting. "He always talks about, at the end of the day, he's already won in life, so whatever else happens after this is extra credit". It wouldn't have mattered if I shot lights-out if we didn't finish the job off. That's why I relate to him so much. You've got to relish the competition and the players we're going against. "But we have to take care of the basketball, that's more so what we're anxious about".

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Cleveland's 4-1 series win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

Lue's defensive strategy to this point in the playoffs has been to neutralize the opponents' top player. This time they had to play five games before eliminating the Boston Celtics at 4-1. Cleveland blitzed, double-teamed and did all it could take away the other team's offensive threat. Cleveland deserves a ton of credit for shoring up its three-point shooting ability to compete with Golden State.

"Hell yeah", he said, his voice rising.

Game 1 has Golden State as a 7-point home betting favorite, and Cleveland has failed to win the series opener or cover the spread in Oakland each of the previous two years. They have a lot of options. You've got, for whatever reason, Las Vegas is making Cleveland a huge underdog. "But all you can do is play your defense, stick to your principles and just make it as tough as possible".

Lue knows the Cavs are facing a hard task, one made tougher with the addition of the versatile Durant, who can score down low, from the perimeter and free-throw line. There's Kevin Durant (also 2.1-to-1), the new guy in the mix, who joined the Warriors to win a title and would face endless scrutiny for it if they fall short. Lue made subtle tweaks to his rotation, drew up key inbounds plays, then isolated Irving late in Game 7 on Curry. The dynamic is different for James, just as it was in "11". There's more than enough swagger to go around, which means not only great basketball, but high emotions. I'll stay part of the game and still be able to put people in positons of power.

The Cavs are also more well-rounded than they were in the previous two trips to the finals. With the head coach still suffering from back ailments, which no one would have known his current state at the time, a veteran on the bench was necessary. This one is a beauty. pic.twitter.com/tVEgP441sWThe actions are all over the Cavs' film, preparing the past few days before heading to the Bay Area Tuesday.They watched some clips of last year's NBA Finals to figure out what worked and what didn't, where they could take advantage of certain matchups.

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