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Cavs vs. Warriors Pre-Finals Thread

Mr. Friscus

I think, therefore, I poop
@Bo-4, since you're a fellow NBA enthusiast, let's talk!

So what are your thoughts leading up to the finals? What are some things you see happening? How do you think both teams will address the threats on the other side?

And, all others are welcome!
 

Bo-4

Senator
@Bo-4, since you're a fellow NBA enthusiast, let's talk!

So what are your thoughts leading up to the finals? What are some things you see happening? How do you think both teams will address the threats on the other side?

And, all others are welcome!
Oh man - i can't hardly wait for tomorrow night. I'm a Splash Brothers fan but realistically when they beat Cavs in last year's final, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were injured and it was Lebron against the world. Love's been playing his best hoops ever.

So Cavs are healthy and dangerous coming into this one, plus they swept the Hawks while Steph and Company had to make a miraculous comeback to win three in a row and finally take Thunder in 7. So the obvious rest and preparation advantage = Cavs.

Warriors have home court advantage where they were 39-2 this year (which was crazy) = advantage Golden State.

Right now Vegas likes the Warriors by lots but i suspect those odds are somewhat skewed.

As for addressing threats, that's a tough call. Looks like Cavs will put JR Smith on Klay Thompson (an unenviable task). Who will Cleveland put on Curry? I'm betting on Lebron primarily but Steph forces a lot of switches with his quickness and ridiculous ball handling.

Not at all certain who GS puts on James - my bet is a combination of Draymond Green and Curry. But GS doesn't match up well at all with Kevin. Don't think Bogut can hang with him and if he gets in early foul trouble as is his tendency .. could be trouble.

Bo picks the Warriors in 7 - gonna be an epic matchup.

What say Friscus?
 

Mr. Friscus

I think, therefore, I poop
Oh man - i can't hardly wait for tomorrow night. I'm a Splash Brothers fan but realistically when they beat Cavs in last year's final, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were injured and it was Lebron against the world. Love's been playing his best hoops ever.

So Cavs are healthy and dangerous coming into this one, plus they swept the Hawks while Steph and Company had to make a miraculous comeback to win three in a row and finally take Thunder in 7. So the obvious rest and preparation advantage = Cavs.

Warriors have home court advantage where they were 39-2 this year (which was crazy) = advantage Golden State.

Right now Vegas likes the Warriors by lots but i suspect those odds are somewhat skewed.

As for addressing threats, that's a tough call. Looks like Cavs will put JR Smith on Klay Thompson (an unenviable task). Who will Cleveland put on Curry? I'm betting on Lebron primarily but Steph forces a lot of switches with his quickness and ridiculous ball handling.

Not at all certain who GS puts on James - my bet is a combination of Draymond Green and Curry. But GS doesn't match up well at all with Kevin. Don't think Bogut can hang with him and if he gets in early foul trouble as is his tendency .. could be trouble.

Bo picks the Warriors in 7 - gonna be an epic matchup.

What say Friscus?
I'm pumped beyond belief as well. Let's keep this going throughout the series.

This could be a lengthy post, so get some popcorn.

The obvious advantage the Warriors have in this series is their length and athleticism. Let's look at the Warriors roster:

PG Curry 6'3"
SG Thomson 6'7"
SF Barnes 6'8"
PF Green 6'7"
C Bogut 7'0"

Bench:
Livingston 6'7"
Iguadala 6'6"
Speights 6'10"
Ezeli 6'11"

Now let's look at the Cavs:
PG Irving 6'3"
SG Smith 6'6"
SF James 6'8"
PF Love 6'10"
C Thompson 6'9"

Bench
Frye 6'11"
Dellavedova 6'4"
Shumpert 6'5"
Jefferson 6'7"

On paper it doesn't look as much of an issue as it is when you take into account athleticism and matchups. The key issue about the Warriors length is that it

1. Neutralizes Kyrie and Lebron's ability to penetrate
2. Neutralizes Kevin Love's ability to create and shoot 3's.

Now, if Curry has to D up Irving on a switch, Kyrie can take Steph pretty regularly. However, the Warriors do well in covering for Curry's suspect defense. And while Thompson isn't great on D, he's long enough to at least get a hand in someone's face.

I really think an X-factor for the Cavs is going to be Channing Frye. The guy is shooting the lights out, and is so tall it really doesn't matter who he's guarded by. He's made well over 20 of the last 40 threes he's taken.

Of course, the Cavs are going to need J.R. Smith to be on target, and match some of the 3's Thompson and Curry are bound to make, the same for Kevin Love, even if he might be more tightly guarded by more athletic defenders. Richard Jefferson has been a pleasant surprise.. If he can continue to contribute that would be huge, and Shumpert has never looked the same since his injury last year.

Another issue that us Cavs fans have dealt with all year is Kyrie's habit of slipping back into streetball mode. Don't get me wrong, the guy has a killer crossover, and probably the best second-move on a penetration in the game. However, he often pulls up for the jumper instead of taking the ball to the hole after he completely has them off balance, leaning in the wrong direction. It's as if he wants to drill the jumper to show up the defender, when charging to the hoop could get more fouls called, a quicker bonus, and possibly even 3 point plays. Irving will always shoot, but sometimes he goes too far. We ran into that in the Raptors series, and sure enough, it hurt us as a team. If Irving makes the right basketball play and loses the streetball game, like he did against Atlanta and Detroit, it'll go a long way.

And that brings me to Lebron. He'll undoubtedly be D'd up all series by a mixture of Green and Iquadala, and possibly Barnes. As pretty much all NBA fans know, Lebron has the disadvantage of being such a brick house that he's officiated differently, and doesn't tend to get the fouls that other players do even with the same body positioning and contact. He'll have a tough time getting to the rack against the Warriors, but will certainly be able to draw help, prompting a pass to the wing and hopefully a kick to the corner for an open three. Lebron hasn't been anywhere near efficient from 3-point land, and even his Free throw shooting has been only 62%, which is alarming. His value will be the attention he commands on all plays, and his midrange and inward power jumpers.

While I think the Cavs would have won last year with Kyrie and Love, I also don't think the Warriors were as good of a team last year. They have confidence and are more of a unit now more than ever. I think the Warriors are the deeper, more athletic, better passing, and better shooting team. There's really no reason for my analytic mind to pick the Cavs. Cleveland has better rebounding and post play, as well as better isolation players. I usually try not to drink the kool-aid, but I'm going to say Cavs in 6. I think the Cavs get 1 of 2 in Golden State to start the finals.

And you heard it here first, Channing Freakin' Frye..
 

Bo-4

Senator
Frisc - The comparative length was surprising for me. Thing is, Steve Curry often goes small ball - but perhaps not with that kind of advantage unless he just wants to fast break when they're playing their big guys. Curry's a genius with substitution strategy.

A 6-11 guy (Frye) has made over half his past 40 3 pointers? I'm honestly not all that familiar with the guy. That's scary!

I know what you mean about Lebron - he's a bull and doesn't get many offensive fouls even when he bowls guys over. Shaq used to get away with the same crap which pissed me off!

That was a great analysis .. clearly you know your hoops. You're for Cleveland - do you live in Ohio?

My sorta boss back in Boston is from Cleveland. We have some great trash talk started already via text.

I'll hit him with something like this and he'll come back with something about "Believeland" :)

 

Mr. Friscus

I think, therefore, I poop
Frisc - The comparative length was surprising for me. Thing is, Steve Curry often goes small ball - but perhaps not with that kind of advantage unless he just wants to fast break when they're playing their big guys. Curry's a genius with substitution strategy.

A 6-11 guy (Frye) has made over half his past 40 3 pointers? I'm honestly not all that familiar with the guy. That's scary!

I know what you mean about Lebron - he's a bull and doesn't get many offensive fouls even when he bowls guys over. Shaq used to get away with the same crap which pissed me off!

That was a great analysis .. clearly you know your hoops. You're for Cleveland - do you live in Ohio?

My sorta boss back in Boston is from Cleveland. We have some great trash talk started already via text.

I'll hit him with something like this and he'll come back with something about "Believeland" :)

I live in the West Suburbs of Cleveland. I'm a fan of the game, and I like to think I can give decent analysis of it. However, here in Cleveland, good analysis never sold any papers or got many clicks, it's all about being a homer with delusions of the next Browns season.. that's what gets you a job. LOL!

As for the length, yea, on paper it doesn't look as bad as it plays out taking into account the athleticism aspect. Love might be 6'10", but he plays 6'10". Meanwhile, Iguadala, Livingston and Barnes both easily play 6'10", Green close to 7. It's going to be a major factor in this series that the Cavs will have to overcome.

Yes, Frye is on a killing spree from three point range. I don't want to speak too soon, but he could REALLY bring an unguardable aspect to the Cavs, because not only are the three's dropping, but even when he doesn't pull the trigger, he draws a Draymond Green, Bogut, or Speights out to the foul line. This shift opens up a weak side post-up for Lebron or Love. With my luck, he'll come in tonight and go 0-5, but I'm hoping he keeps up this "X-factor" role he has.

Meanwhile, while I live in the Cleveland area, I've never much drank the kool-aid around here like many others. I don't bond with people over how crappy the Browns are (I'm a Colts fan first, and even followed Peyton to the Broncos, SUPER BOWL!). Cleveland sports culture is pretty ridiculous. The talking heads all indirectly challenging each other to who is the bigger fan based on which will be on the I-480 bridge considering suicide after losses, or who would divorce a spouse if they were a Steelers fan... such things are funny if they are known jokes, but I'm not much certain they are.

As for your picture, it's a sad truth for anyone playing the Warriors. You can never.. NEVER... be comfortable with a lead on the Warriors. The only time you can truly let your guard down is when you see 0.00 on the clock.

I'm pumped for game 1. If I'm the Cavs, the Splash Bros. have been playing amazing the past game and a half. My number one priority would be to get out on the 3 point line and make them penetrate, causing dishes to other players, in-between runners, and possible turnovers. We'll see if Coach Tyron Lue employs a similar strategy.
 
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