Monday, June 1, 2015

Who Will Win the 2015 NBA Finals?

The Cavs are set to take on the Warriors in the NBA Finals, and people are wondering whether LeBron can do it again and lead a team to a championship. He has been incredible in these playoffs, and the Cavs dispatched every Eastern Conference foe that got in their way with little resistance. The Warriors did basically the same thing to the Western Conference, so it appears that there are two titans ready to square off for the title. There's just one problem with that. The Eastern Conference was terrible this year, and the Warriors, if healthy, are going to steamroll the Cavaliers.

Now, this isn't a knock on LeBron James. He's still the best basketball player in the world (and I guess I must also say that this statement is not a knock on Steph Curry), as there is no one better at taking over games and physically dominating his opponents. As great as LeBron is, this team still wasn't good enough to have the best record in the East. They beat the Celtics easily, and were able to polish off the Bulls after having troubles early on. They looked impressive against the Hawks, but the Hawks didn't had injuries stacked up and clearly ran out of gas towards the end of the regular season.

Still, it has not just been LeBron who has done well in these playoffs. The supporting cast has played surprisingly well. As a Bulls fan, it seriously angered me how many rebounds Tristan Thompson had and how JR Smith seemed to never miss a shot. And don't get me started on Dellavedova. But just looking at these rosters, does anybody see a single advantage for the Cavs outside of LeBron? These Cavs are not the Miami Heat of the past four seasons. Kyrie is not on Dwyane Wade's level, and Cleveland has nobody even worth comparing to Chris Bosh.

Yet everyone seems to think this will be a competitive series. LeBron may be the best player in the NBA, but it seems safe to say that the current MVP, Steph Curry, is at least in the top-5. But LeBron is flanked by Kyrie and a bunch of solid but not impactful role players. I mean, if you were ranking the players in this series, how many Warriors would you list before you got to the third Cavs player? I think most people would list Klay, Draymond, Barnes, Bogut, and Iguodola. Maybe even Shaun Livingston. That is just too big of a talent gap for LeBron and even a 100% healthy Kyrie to make up for.

Let's look at it this way. Do you really think the Cavaliers would have gotten past the Memphis Grizzlies? They would have pounded the Cavaliers into submission. They nearly did it to the Warriors, but the Warriors had more talent, so they were able to eventually figure things out.

And that's the way I see this series going. Even if the Cavaliers start out looking good, the Warriors have way more talent, and they have a coaching staff who eventually figures things out. The Klay Thompson concussion is a big concern, but if he is healthy, there is no way the Warriors lose this series.

Prediction: Warriors by Gentleman's Sweep

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