The WOLF Internet Radio

5 May 30, 2017

Warriors v. Cavaliers NBA Finals

Over the course of eight months, the Warriors and Cavaliers have been on a collision course for what has been the most predictable NBA Finals matchup in the modern era. A third straight NBA Finals showdown, featuring seven of the league’s top players at their respective positions; James, Durant, Irving, Curry, K. Thompson, Love, and Green. Will Golden State relieve themselves of the bitter taste that rest on the tip of their tongues from an incomplete 73-win season in 2016? Or will the Cavs remain at the top of the NBA world as champions once again?

We are about to witness a tie breaker for the ages between these two super teams, and let’s be honest, there is no one way to pick a winner. One made shot, can and probably will be the difference in a couple of these games. However, The Wolf Sports is giving you three factors to consider that will help you predict a winner of the 2017 NBA Finals.

First, in a game of this magnitude, mental toughness and composure will be necessary. We know that both teams possess certain players with such grit and determination. However, do you think Kevin Durant is mentally tough enough to overcome the pressure he has faced this season? After joining Golden State in the summer, the tables have turned. Durant is now the fish, in which hungry media personalities feast upon. Durant has done a good job of brushing the hate off, but now Durant must outplay James, who he is 18-5 against throughout his career. After all, he signed up to win, right?

Draymond Green, on the other hand, may be Durant’s lucky charm too toughness. Green will surely bring his tenacious effort and attitude on the floor, piling the stat sheet with 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assist in game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals. Following the summer signing of KD, Green was quoted saying, “And then, if Cleveland comes out of the east, I want to destroy Cleveland. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. But I also know that there’s steps to get to that point. And if we get to that point, I want to annihilate them”.

However, it is that same aggressive attitude that cost Draymond Green game five of last year’s NBA Finals, after his kick to the midsection of LeBron James resulted in a one game suspension. It is vital that Green remains on the floor for the Warriors, mentally tough and composed enough to respond effectively to the likes of James, Love, and Thompson in the post.

Which bring us to our second factor, rebounding. Tristan Thompson has an uncanny knack for offensive boards. The last thing Curry and Durant need, is to guard two of the league’s best isolation playmakers for 48 seconds at a time because of an extra possession.

Last year, the Warriors not only lost Green for one game, but they also went without Andrew Bogut at the time due to injury. With new additions, such as Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, the Warriors will look to limit Tristan Thompson’s activity on the glass. In addition, Pachulia and McGee must also act as rim protectors and squeeze on the driving lanes LeBron James is certain to look for.

Although this series will feature some of the world’s top athletes, role players will show up in key moments as well. Therefore, ball movement is vital, and our third deciding factor. Both teams possess the firepower and talent to hit a barrage of three pointers within minutes. The Warriors led the league in assist this season with just over 30 per game, and the Cavs have LeBron James, the best passing small-forward in NBA history. Closing out on shooters and disrupting passing lanes will be huge in slowing down ball movement of these two offensive juggernauts.

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