We’re here. After a tremendously disappointing but still incredibly predictable Playoffs, we now sit here till that Thursday night in Oakland where basketball fans everywhere will salivate at the rubber match of the Cavs and the Dubs. Why the league is making us wait a whole week before we get to see such a highly anticipated Finals, I have no idea. What I do have an idea about is what might happen and how it might effect the league. Here we go with a game by game prediction.
- Game 1 – Warriors 104, Cavaliers 103 I feel like this game will mirror the Game 1 we saw in the 2015 Finals where the Warriors will come out tentative and rusty from the time off, and they’ll try to force shots for KD in order to make him comfortable. Meanwhile, LeBron and Kyrie come out determined and give the Cavs an early lead. But backed by the raucous Oracle crowd and their desire to keep a perfect playoff record, the Warriors climb back into the game. The biggest part part will most likely be a Curry explosion in the beginning of the third where he rips off 4 threes in under 90 seconds. The end of the game sees the teams trading baskets, with the Warriors pulling it out at home.
- Game 2 – Cavaliers 123, Warriors 105 A bit of a sharp turn, but I feel like this would be a perfect game for LeBron to throw up a 40 point triple-double. He’ll be mad that they dropped the first one, and mad at criticism he’d get from blowing a close game. Also, the Warriors are probably due for an off shooting night at some point, while the Cavs feed off LeBron’s stunning play and cruise to a 1-1 series.
- Game 3 – Warriors 125, Cavaliers 92 Now here’s where things get interesting. After an embarrassing Game 2, talk will be swirling around about how overrated the Dubs are and they’re getting what they deserve for the formation of this super team. You know how you don’t pull on SuperMan’s cape? Well, this will be the equivolant of tugging on the capes of everyone in the Justice League. The Warriors will come out in an absolute rage and light threes up in all directions. Kyrie and Love will get abused in pick-and-rolls, LeBron will have an off night coming off a great game, and Ty Lue will burn up timeouts while trying to coach, even though LeBron’s obviously in control. Bad night in Cleveland.
- Game 4 – Cavaliers 96, Warriors 92 Everyone will be complaining after consecutive blowouts, so inevitably we get a close, thrilling game. Both teams lock in on defense and battle for control for all 48 minutes. But the crowd in Cleveland won’t let the Cavs lose this one, and Kevin Love will hit a bunch of threes as he’s been doing in this post-season. To cap it off we get a classic Kyrie “I’m 4-for-20 so far, but now in the last 2 minutes I’ll go off for 10 points with one being a wrong foot layup over a leaping center, and the last shot being a fade away 3 from the wing” game.
- Game 5 – Warriors 115, Cavaliers 100 And here is where reality will set in. I know the final score looks like the Cavs got handled, but I’d predict that they’d have the lead going into the 4th quarter. But something will snap. A realization in the Warriors that they are far superior. A snap in Klay, Dray, and Steph that they need this vengeance. And a snap in KD that he’ll prove to everyone how great he is. Durant goes into unstoppable scorer mode, finished with 38 points, and the Warriors play one of the best quarters in Finals history.
- Game 6 – Warriors 108, Cavaliers 102 Sorry Adam Silver, no last minute Game 7 finish this year. Rather, the Warriors are simply too much for the Cavs to handle. The Cavs will open strong and start with a decent lead backed by a locked-in LeBron. But the Warriors at this point will be in full confidence mode, and won’t even blink. They’ll keep their cool and ease their way back into a stalemate before seizing control with a couple lightning-quick threes from Klay. The Cavs make a comeback attempt near the end, but ultimately fall short. KD finally gets his ring, and the Super Warriors reclaim the throne. That’s just my opinion. And who knows, everyone was betting on Golden State last year, everyone thought the Heat would destroy the Mavericks no problem. The NBA is usually more predictable than other sports, but in the Finals, with the best teams, random chance finally takes effect. There are two things that could derail the Dubs: a) LeBron going full “Jordan” mode and taking over everyone and everything, or b) Draymond losing it and getting another suspension. Unfortunately, not even those are guarantees for victory with this team’s talent. One thing I’d watch out for is this: since 2013, the team to steal a road game first has always lost the Finals. Just watch out for that.