Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. After about a weeks break, I'm back to writing articles. Schools almost done, so the essays are piling up and I've had less time to write, but now that The Finals are here, I'm making sure this is a priority. Today I'll be previewing the NBA Finals match up between the Warriors and Cavs, giving insight into each team, as well as my prediction for the series.
Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors swept their way through the Western Conference to reach their third straight NBA Finals, and it looks like they are the favorites to win. I think if they are going to pull this off this year, there are a couple things that must happen though. One is the Curry vs. Irving match up. We saw last season that if LeBron and Kyrie are on a roll, they can carry the Cavs to victory. That means Steph Curry needs to try and counteract that this year. A lot of people are talking about this like Curry needs to find a way to play well offensively and defensively to stop Irving but that's blasphemy. If Curry is going to slow Kyrie down, it's going to happen when the Warriors have the ball. Irving is going to be guarding Steph a lot of the time, and if Curry makes him work hard defensively it makes running an offense harder. On the defensive end Klay Thompson will be guarding Irving, so there is no reason for that to be a factor in the Curry vs. Irving match up discussion. I keep hearing people say Kyrie being a better defender makes him more valuable in these Finals, but that just isn't true.
The next thing the Warriors need is for Draymond Green to keep his head on straight. Last year the Warriors would have won in 5 games if it weren't for Green getting suspended, so that can't happen again this year. Trash talk and physical play are huge factors in these big games, so the Warriors need to have other "enforcers" such as JaVale McGee and David West step into Draymond's role. There is no reason for Draymond to not keep up his physical style of play, as well as his trash talk, but he needs to keep it under control. If the Warriors get into the Cavs head, and show that they aren't just a finesse team, then Cleveland will have a problem.
Lastly, the clutch factor is going to be hugely important. Steph has yet to show his clutch play in The Finals, and the jury is still out on Kevin Durant. If Steph and KD want to shut up the haters, they need to play big. Cleveland's two best players match up against these two, so Curry and Durant need to show that they are either better or just as good in these moments. When Golden State needs to make a big shot, one of these two need to step up.
Other Needs for the Warriors:
The Cavs definitely have their work cut out for them. In order to win back to back titles, they are going to have to beat the undisputed best team in the NBA. I think, just like for the Warriors, there are 3 paramount factors for them to win The Finals. One is physicality. The off ball screens are the most lethal thing on the Warriors because that's how Curry, Klay, and Durant end up wide open from 3 point range so often. Cleveland needs to fight through those screens and bump Warriors players when they make cuts across the court. If the Warriors are uncomfortable, they won't be able to shoot you out of the gym. Sadly for Cavs fans, a lot of that falls into the hands of the referees and how they call these games, so cross your fingers if your cheering on LeBron.
The next thing is that the Cavs have to play well off the bench. Golden States "death lineup" is called that for a reason. They will kill you in every aspect of the game. That's going to leave a lot up to the Cavs bench players. One of the things I said about the Warriors is they can't let the Cavs bench shoot well from three, and it's just the opposite for Cleveland. That's what makes this bench so lethal. With Kyle Korver as the Cavs 7th or 8th option, you can say they are comfortable with their bench's 3 point shooting.
Finally, the Cleveland Cavaliers need LeBron James to play like the G.O.A.T. If he wants the Michael Jordan comparisons, he needs to play like MJ. LeBron has always tended to shy away from the big moment, letting others take pivotal final shots, but that can't necessarily happen this year. If Kyrie Irving is hot, let him close (we saw him do it last year in Game 7). If not though, LeBron needs to play hero ball. It's sort of ironic that LeBron tries to get the ball to the open man in the final moments of the game, which is exactly the strategy of the Warriors, his opponent. Since Golden State is is enemy now though, and everyone is looking at LeBron to come save the NBA from Kevin Durant's super team, he needs to stop doing that. LeBron, be the opposing force everyone wants you to be. Take big shots. Make big shots. Show us why your the greatest. You are the Cavaliers only chance of winning.
Other Needs for the Cavaliers:
After about a week and a half of thought, I have made my decision. There is a part of me saying that the Warriors will manhandle the Cavs and take it in 5, but there is the side preaching the greatness of LeBron James. I decided in between these two extremes, officially predicting the Golden State Warriors to win in 6 games. After a full year of anticipating this match up I everything in me wants a 7 game series but I think Golden State is too good to let that happen. I think that 5 of the 6 games will be down to the wire, so I'm expecting a good series, but I just don't see how the Cavs can match up with this Warriors team. I hope this series goes 7, so Cleveland find a way to prove me wrong, but for now I'm saying Warriors in 6.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.