The Hardwood Nation: 2015 NBA Finals Roundtable

C.L. Anthony

Advancing to four consecutive NBA Finals is quite a feat, adding a fifth is phenomenal and LeBron James did just that.  James continues to add to the league’s history book as he storms through his prime; recently saying that he’s playing the best basketball of his career.  This is James’ sixth trip to the Finals and it offers a chance for him to even his wins and losses at 3 apiece.

Standing in his way of course is the new face of the NBA and the league’s Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry.  The Golden State Warriors have ridden a seemingly unstoppable wave of momentum throughout the entire season, a wave that now welcomes the challenge of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  As fortunate as the Cavs have been to find themselves once more in the Finals, the Warriors have been dominate.  Driven by sustained excellence the Warriors have never faltered or shown weakness.

The natural size of both teams are very similar but the Cavaliers simply play bigger.  With that said the Warriors can exploit this by spreading the floor and penetrating.  In a pick your poison type situation the Warriors will be at their best.

Coaching has been suspect throughout the season in Cleveland and despite both coaches (Blatt & Kerr) being in their first year, Kerr’s Championship experience as a player for the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs gives him a perspective that Blatt simply doesn’t possess in the Championship series.  There hasn’t been a playoff/championship situation that Kerr hasn’t seen.  Blatt’s international success has been well documented but the NBA is a different game.

The Cavaliers will most certainly use the size of James and Tristan Thompson downlow to punish the Warriors on the inside.  Draymond Green has been a revelation for the Warriors thus far this season but here he will be mightily challenged.  The Cavaliers will however feel the loss of Kevin Love the most in this series due to his ability to allow them to stretch the floor.  Without Love the bigs of the Warriors can clog the lane and negate many of the drive and kicks that Cleveland loves to employ.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

The Cavaliers have the most dominant player currently in the game but the Golden State Warriors have the best team.  Akin to the NBA Finals of 2007, 11, and 14, the Cavaliers will be defeated due to having the weaker team.

Bold Prediction:  Warriors in 5

Justin Benjamin

I think the Cavs are the underdogs going into this series. The Warriors’ smooth offense, led by Stephen Curry, solid defense and stellar supporting cast give them advantages in many ways. However, I think this is LeBron’s time to show the World he can win without superstars and what other way to do that than beat the best team in the NBA. Although the Cavs lost Kevin Love for the rest of the post season, they’ve played 10 full playoff games without him and are experienced with Tristan Thompson in his place. The long finals layover has given Kryie Irving some time to heal; if he can be anywhere close to a 100%, a lot will be taken off Lebron’s shoulders. This will be a very entertaining finals as the two MVPs go at it. The Cavs will only go as far as LeBron takes them so expect an array of heroics, stat lines and greatness.

Cavs – 6

Samuel Goldman

I’m extremely excited for the 2015 NBA Finals. I think that the contest will be closer than most people think. My bold prediction might shock most of you but here it goes. I think that the Warriors will win it in 7. Sorry Ohio.

Cortez Paul

I been saying the entire playoffs how bad the East is… so yes, if you root for a team in the East, only a LeBron-Led team is gonna be in the Finals the next few years. I think that eventually Cleveland will get their shine, but not this year… Stephen Curry is on a mission and I’m sorry for doubting you. Better supporting cast, Home Court advantage and lessons learned from that Memphis Series; Golden State wins in Six games.

Richard Kagan

I pick the Cavs to win in 6 games. It comes down to, how can you pick against LeBron James?
The Cavs must have an effective Kyrie Irving. He needs to create space and move around the court. If Irving is not healthy, then the Warriors will win. The intangibles all go to Cleveland. Golden State is a heck of a team. But James seems on a mission, and that is hard to stop.

Ben Parker

I got the Cavaliers winning the series in six games because of LeBron James. He has been playing at such a high level and I don’t know if Golden State really has an answer for him. Stephen Curry may be this year’s MVP, but if I could have any player on my team in this series, I would take LeBron James. He has championship experience and knows what it is like to fall short in the finals as well as succeed.

I think his experience and his superior talent and skill will make the difference in this series. Plus, if I can be honest, I just have a gut feeling the Cavaliers are winning this series. I just feel like they’re going to get it done even though the odds are stacked against them.

G.R. Baker

In the last 10 years there have only been five teams to win the prestigious award.  The Miami Heat (3), San Antonio Spurs (3), Los Angeles Lakers (2), Boston Celtic (1), and Dallas Mavericks (1).  This year one of the competing teams will have a chance to be the 6th team to become the NBA champions in the last 11 years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing with the King but I think he will be de-crowned this year just like last year.  The Cleveland Cavalier are not strong enough, LeBron is not at 100%, Kevin Love is out and Kyrie  Irving is all beat up and possibly in need of surgery.  They simply will not win the championship in my book; I could be wrong, but I doubt it.  The main reason I think Golden State will win is due to something that people are not talking about, the so-called professionals have failed to mention it but people have to realize and think outside the box and if you do you will realize that Steve Kerr is a 5 times NBA Champion as a player in the NBA.  He’s played with great players on dynasty teams in the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs.  Steve Kerr can give the Warriors that edge to help lead them to victory.  He has been at the championship level plenty of times and he had a LeBron type player once as a teammate in Michael Jordan.  He can go back and let his team watch some old videos and really use his past to not only motivate but also to help his players to realize that 2015 is their year.  Kerr will lead them to victory no doubt and I think it will be very much deserved.  I’m not a LeBron James hater so I’m not jumping on the band wagon of Golden State just to see LeBron lose.  Despite being a fan of the Orlando Magic I actually enjoyed the time he spent in Miami and watching the Miami Heat win.  But I choose the Golden State because I really respect Steph Curry’s game and I think that Golden State is deeper, faster, and can bring an offense that Cleveland can’t counter.

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