by Mack Williams
2 June 2016
I. King James
Any team with LeBron James is a threat to win a series, as shown last year when Cleveland took Golden State to six games despite the absence of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Now, with Love and Irving there, the Cavs are that much tougher. The “addition” of these guys could make the difference.
II. Andre The Giant
Then again, G. State still has elite defender Andre Iguodala, who forced LeBron into a very pedestrian shooting performance in last year’s finals, despite the number of points he scored. A true student of the game, what will Andre have in his bag for this series?
III. Silicon Valley
Northern California is known for being home to possibly the preeminent tech corridor in the country…but if Draymond Green gets one more tech of a flagrant nature, he will sit out a game. In a tight series, that could be the deciding factor. His lack of a seat in the Western Conference Finals may very well have been a factor.
IV. On Broadway
Carmelo Anthony may be watching from home, but four ex-Knicks (including two that he was traded for) suit up for the Cavaliers, which is no surprise to Knicks fans that think ex-Knicks excel elsewhere. J.R. Smith, former sixth man of the year, starts now, and Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert are key subs in the rotation. I might find some minutes for former starter Timofey Mosgov, who has gotten buried on the bench.
V. The Spy Who Loved Me
Anderson Varejao and the city of Cleveland have a mutual love affair, and he never wanted to leave. But now that he has become the first player ever to play for both Finals teams in the same year…but one not likely to see much action since the Warriors’ best lineup is the ultra-small one…his best role may be on the intelligence end.
VI. Trayce Thompson’s Brother
When you see a professional athlete make a great play – as I saw made by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Trayce Thompson – you would generally think that person is the most accomplished athlete in his or her family. But in Trayce’s case, his brother is the en fuego shooting Klay Thompson. Memo to Tyronn Lue: don’t let this guy get hot.
Speaking of getting hot, MVP Curry has no limits to his range, has no qualms about shooting from anywhere, and gets the home crowd at “Roar-acle” into a frenzy. The Warriors are never out of a game, because Steph and Klay can three-point shoot the Warriors from down to up in the shortest period of time. There’s a reason why they went 39-2 at home in the regular season, and set the record of 73-9.
Cleveland has just faced Eastern Conference competition, and may meet up with a Dorothy “think we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment, maybe even tonight. LeBron bringing a title back to “the Land” after all these years is a great story, but it’s probably not going to happen this year. My pick is the Warriors to repeat as champs.