2015 NBA Finals Preview

2015+NBA+Finals+Preview

Blake Krantz

by Blake Krantz
After an underwhelming round of Eastern and Western Conference finals, the favorites in the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors have advanced the NBA Finals.
This shapes up to be a compelling matchup, with the Cavaliers suddenly appearing to be the underdog despite the emergence of superstar Lebron James as a leader who has made everyone around him better.
Largely due to the leadership of James, a banged-up Cleveland team has seen key contributions throughout the playoffs from role players such as J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Tristan Thompson.
With forward Kevin Love ruled out and star guard Kyrie Irving still questionable, the Cavaliers will need the continued production from these “other” players, in addition to superb play from James, the best player in the league.
Another interesting storyline to follow will be home court in the NBA Finals, as the Warriors have been lights-out all season at Oracle Arena, but Cleveland has played very well on the road this postseason, boasting a 6-1 record in the home arenas of their Eastern Conference foes.
But, despite the immeasurable impact of Lebron James and the desperation for the Cavaliers to deliver Cleveland sports fan an ever-elusive championship, I like the Warriors to win it all, like many others who have watched Golden State play thus far.
The Warriors are led by MVP Steph Curry and guard Klay Thompson, who are capable of putting up points quickly like no other shooters in the league.
For Golden State, Thompson is the main concern going into the finals, as he suffered a concussion in the closeout game against Houston in the Western Conference Finals, and the Warriors hope he will be able to play his normal minutes Thursday in Game One.
In the end, this year’s NBA Finals shape up to be the matchup of a proven superstar in Lebron James, who has now made five straight NBA Finals appearances, and young breakout star Steph Curry, who looks to deliver a championship to Golden State.
This year has been remarkably successful for the Warriors and first year head coach Steve Kerr, and the Warriors simply can’t seem to lose more than two games in a row, a large part of the reason why I have Golden State as the 2015 NBA Champions, in an undoubtedly hard-fought series with an inspired Cleveland team and Lebron James.