OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

2017 NBA Finals: Game 1 Preview - Warriors vs. Cavs

2017 NBA Finals: Game 1 Preview - Warriors vs. Cavs

               Finally, the series we’ve all been waiting for since the playoffs began; The Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. As a fan of the Warriors I talk a lot of shit on Twitter because, well, that’s what Twitter is for. I will make the most outlandish statements simply because I can. I mean, what can you really do about it? What can I really do about your wild comments aside from laugh because most of you are usually wrong? I genuinely enjoy the back and forth delusions that people express when it comes to sports, actually. Numbers and stats are cool to spew but there is nothing like a good old fashioned Hot Take to really stir up the pot. I’ll try and leave bias out of this and show I actually know a thing or two and not just your average fan tweeting because his brother let him use his Xfinity log in information

                  Let’s try and think of this logically for a minute. For those of you who feel the Cavs are going to win, I want to ask you why it is you feel like this? No one ever seems to give me a straight forward answer when I’ve asked this. I’m often hit with the emotional responses of Steph being overrated, Bron being the “GOAT”, people hoping KD doesn’t win a ring because they don’t respect the decision he made (see my article from yesterday in regards to that), Kyrie is too much to handle or the Draymond can’t control himself theory. Mind you, Draymond has not had an incident like the kick on Adams or flick of the wrist towards Bron that caught all shorts and no actual body contact. On top of the fact that Draymond only has 2 techs this post season I’m more than positive he won’t acquire the 5 that will be needed to suspend him if that’s what you all are hoping for. If you are hoping for Steph to choke in the Finals as you all have mistakenly said he’s done both years, I’d say you all are sadly mistaken again. Steph averaged 26/6/5 in the 2015 Finals. Those are choke numbers to you, seriously? In the 2016 Finals Steph was obviously playing hurt. It’s clear by him being locked down by Kevin Love in the closing minute of Game 7. Steph played though. And I truly do hate the injury excuse because injuries literally happen every year. Personally I only used the Steph was hurt, Draymond was suspended and Bogut was injured excuse because “Cavs fans” and Warriors haters used that excuse for the 2015 Finals. Like I’ve said before, rules change to fit people’s argument of the moment. Let’s take a closer look at last year’s Finals and then you can tell me why it is you think this year’s Finals are going to be close.

                  When both teams were 100% healthy in the 2016 Finals the Warriors had the Cavs down 3-1 and were headed back to Oracle Arena for Game 5. During Game 5 Bron saw an opportunity and seized it. Not only did he throw Draymond to the grown, he proceeded to step over him Allen Iverson style. We all know what happened after that so I’ll fast forward a bit. I want you all to realize that the refs and league were going to let this whole play go. It wasn’t until Bron started complaining that the league felt the pressure to do something about it. I believe they also knew this would be an opportunity to extend a series that would have inevitably been over in 5. Playing Game 5 without your best defender, no matter how much offensive fire power a team has, is difficult. Draymond is the glue that keeps this team together. He may not be the best player but he is one of the most important pieces. In this same game, Andrew Bogut goes down with a knee injury and is out for the rest of the series. Now the Warriors were playing in a Game 6 on the road without any rim protection whatsoever. Bron had a field day. The spotlight was too big for Festus and Andy V simply has no place on an NBA floor. Mr. 5-32, Harrison Barnes, played horrible in Games 5-7. Absolutely atrocious and finessed his way into a max deal. Good for him, his time expired on my favorite basketball team in that very moment.

                  Unanimous is averaging 28 ppg in the playoffs right now. He appears to be healthier than he has ever been. The Warriors replaced Harrison Barnes with the likes of Kevin Durant. Are we to believe KD is going to go 5-32 at any point in this series? Zaza looks to actually score at times unlike Bogut. Bogut wasn’t at all a threat, scoring wise, to the Cavs last Finals and with Harrison Barnes being so underwhelming the Cavs essentially only had to guard 2 or 3 players on the court at a time. What will be the Cavs strategy in this year’s Finals? Tyron Lue made the comment that it’s easier to prepare for the Warriors than it was for the Celtics. This is laughable to say the least. Especially due to the fact that in the event Mike Brown coaches the Finals, he runs the Warriors offense completely different than Steve Kerr does. Mike Brown is leaning on his offensive weapons in KD and Steph, whereas Steve Kerr truly believed in the “Strength In Numbers” mantra that I’ve grown to dislike come Finals time. The Cleveland Cavaliers won by a whole 2 points, Christmas Day, on a last second shot from Kyrie Irving very reminiscent of how it went in Game 7 the year before. That’s when I found out every player on the Cavs has a separate handshake with each other. You would have thought they won the Championship, again. Fast forward to the next matchup between the two and we see a 35 point Warriors massacre. I was told the Cavs didn’t really care about that game. True enough.

                  Tried my best to keep bias out of this but in all aspects of the game I just didn’t find it possible to do so. I’ve seen people speak on KD’s last Finals appearance in reference to this one. The Finals appearance in which KD averaged 30 ppg being guarded by none other than Lebron James. Basketball is a team sport and the Warriors simply have a better team when you look at it. On paper, on the court, it’s just a better overall team. It’s been a long 9 days but the 2017 Finals are finally here. I’ve already got my parade outfit prepared.

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