Why the Golden State Warriors will win the NBA Finals

May 30, 2018, 05:25
Why the Golden State Warriors will win the NBA Finals

(Updated 12:52 PM with viewership numbers) The Stanley Cup Finals hit the ice for Game 1 between newbies the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals in Sin City on NBC, but the real sports showdown last night was on TNT in Game 7 of the National Basketball Association playoffs' Western Conference Finals.

Since Steve Kerr took over as head coach in 2014, the Warriors have lost 20 playoff games; 16 of those involved their opponents shooting better from behind the three-point line. So if you are to have any chance of beating them at all, you have to make sure that defensively you're of one accord. With a healthy "Hamptons 5", the Warriors had stolen home-court advantage and had two double-digit victories in three games, including a 41-point blowout in Game 3. Yes, the Warriors caught a huge break. Maybe Paul's presence means more in the Game 6 and 7 losses than Iguodala's would have meant in Games 4 and 5, but we will never find out. If All-Star Kevin Love is cleared from his concussion in time to play, Cleveland can surround James with unsafe perimeter shooters such as himself, Kyle Korver, George Hill and JR Smith, forcing the Warriors to play James 1-on-1 - and possibly without one of their top defenders in Andre Iguodala if he can't return from his leg injury.

The odds are longer than a Stephen Curry 3-pointer, Kevin Durant's wingspan or Draymond Green's catalogue of technical fouls. However, the influence of the 28-year old wained at the end as the 2017 Champions hit their stride.

The Rockets would squeak out the next two games by a combined seven points.

Overall, Turner announced, its Western Conference Finals coverage was up 51 percent from its Eastern Conference Finals coverage a year ago and up 48 percent from the 2017 Western Conference Finals coverage over on ESPN. Mathematically, James has played 12.5 more 48-minute games than Klay Thompson, who has played the second-most minutes among Cavaliers and Warriors players. Even the Warriors have made some changes to their bench. The betting money will incline heavily towards Golden State; after all, last year this same Warriors team easily dispatched the Cavaliers - are arguably a better and more cohesive group than this year's Cleveland squad - in five games to win the championship.

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