Cavs-Warriors part 3... who you got?

Matchup we’ve all been waiting for and essentially knowing would happen since July 4. Sucks that we have to wait a week, but what are your predictions?

I’m waffled back and forth, but am going Warriors in 6. Honestly wouldn’t be shocked either way, but Golden State just has SO much firepower and its defense can be really good. But Cleveland is playing great and it’s hard to pick against LeBron.

Hopefully it goes 7.

I think GSW wins fairly easy (I picked 5 games). I don’t think Cleveland has the defense to shut down the Warriors. Can’t wait TO FINALLY see some compelling playoff BB.

I wonder how much of the Cavs resurgence in the playoffs, especially on defense, has been about their competition. Even when they weren’t playing that well at the end of the season, they blew out Boston at Boston. In fact, they dominated Boston and Toronto in the regular season, neither of which have enough offense to challenge them. I would rather ATL have played either the Celts or Raps instead of Washington. ATL was 4-2 against them but 1-3 against Washington. I’ll be interested to see if Cleveland can slow Golden State down in the first game. Then we’ll know what kind of series it will be.

I just want Lebron to lose and lose bad. I cant stand him.

Why?

Snarky, whiny, entitled, self centered…

Just dont like him at all.

I don’t see that. Very unselfish on the court.

Agree to disagree.

That’s fair. It’s an opinion and we know what they say about opinions.
I will also say that I dont spend enough time watching the NBA to change any opinion I have already formed.

I don’t watch a lot of the regular season, but I watch the playoffs. As you probably know this will be the third year they meet in the finals. It’s going to be intense (Green vs Lebron will be must watch TV) with the skill level off the charts. These teams do not like each other. I can’t wait.

LeBron.

He is obviously a great basketball player - one of the greatest of all time although not the greatest in my opinion.

He can be a kind, caring person as shown by his embrace with Isaiah Thomas last night as well as many charity activities and how he has provided educational opportunities for kids.

He also clearly has a side to him that was described above. It no doubt helps fuel him to make him one of the best.

I have told a story many times that got he and I off to a bad start.

When he was in the 8th grade going into the ninth grade, LeBron and his entourage came to the Nike All-American Camp to watch.

I was there and he and his group came and sit down to watch some action.

He turned to me and asked if I was not doing anything, would I go get him a soda.

I knew who he was. I said no that I was working.

The fact that he had the gall to ask an adult to go get him a drink just brushed me the wrong way.

And then of course he became Celtics enemy #1 and has scored more points against them than any other player in history.

That’s a great story -I’ve heard it like 5 times, but worth stating again for those that hadn’t heard it. Doesn’t make it right, but he was probably 13 or 14 then.

He has never been in any trouble, never alleged to have run around on his wife or punched a teammate in practice. He plays the game the way it was meant to be played - both ends, move the ball to the open shooter and plays hard. I’m still a Jordan guy, but I wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t admit Lebron is in the conversation for best player ever discussion.

I’m pulling hard for Durant to get his 1st ring. I predict he does.

I would really hate for someone to hold my younger years against me. I was quite the idiot at one point (My wife may say that never changed).

I cant deny his talent. He is no Jordan, but he belongs in the GOAT conversation at least.

LeBron’s career arc has been fascinating. From being a prodigy to turning into a villain when he went to Miami to becoming a champion and returning home to lifting Cleveland to heights it hadn’t reached in years against a record-breaking team like Golden State, just such an incredible story.

I love the way he plays. As a basketball fan, it’s impossible not to appreciate how he impacts a game. If Cleveland wins this year, it will be such an enormous accomplishment.

I would find it humorous if KD didn’t win a title. Yes, I’m still bitter as an OKC fan. I understand he had right to choose and it obviously was a good decision basketball-wise because he plays in a great ecosystem now and will get the title he has craved… but you had the Warriors down 3-1 and would’ve beaten them if you hadn’t gone 10-31 in Game 6, 1-10 in the 4th. To then join them and do it in the fashion he did makes me hope he doesn’t get the instant gratification of a title in year one.

So I’ll be unequivocally rooting for Bron and Cleveland. But I think Golden State is probably too good.

That is a very good point.

It will be really interesting to see how they guard Golden State. Putting LeBron on Draymond last year worked really well for stretches, but now they have KD. I think it’s interesting, Kyrie is not known as a defender at all but he really tends to rise to the occasion when playing Steph. JR has turned into a really good defender when he’s challenged with a good matchup. But again, adding KD just changes the whole dynamic.

It’ll also be interesting on the other end to see if Cleveland tries to go at Curry a ton in LeBron pick-and-rolls. They made him work a lot last year, which I think took a toll on the other end.

538 had a good analysis of Lebron’s pick-and-roll efficiency. I didn’t realize how much higher his FG% was this season as compared to the previous two seasons. He has been lights out this year at 62%. He was mortal, but outstanding, at 55% last year. That said, I get aggravated when he gets calls for finding someone to barrel into on drives. The King treatment makes him more difficult to guard.

I’ve been thinking that teams should make him shoot more instead of leaving outstanding perimeter shooters to double him, but maybe not looking at the numbers. Even if statistically it is the smart play, I still wonder if making him go two at a time is wiser than risking Cleveland making three or four treys in a row. It seems to me that treys have an outsized effect on the momentum of games. You can see it on the reaction of players. A burst of treys can lead to a run that effectively decides the game. The return to the mean may be too late to matter.

It’s difficult to find fault with anything Lebron does with a basketball in his hands. He’s as unselfish and smart as they come. I don’t really care about the Decision. Neither leaving Cleveland nor going back made a dent in my opinion. I’m neutral on his character. I don’t know what kind of guy he is now one way or the other and won’t speculate. He stands in ATL’s way. So, I’m not going to be a fan. My one quibble with his behavior is how often he talks to the refs. A lot of players do it, but they don’t have his power in the league. He doesn’t even have to exercise that power for it to be an issue of fairness. The refs know. He isn’t the first superstar to get calls and won’t be the last, though.

Rest assured it’s not the soda part, but the part about scoring more points against my Celtics that is the sticking point.

Well, remember the Jordan rules, remember Jordan used to complain a lot to the refs. I agree the Decision is one bad mark on LeBron’s character or whatever. I bet he wishes he had not done that. Other than that his record is clean.

Lebron’s Decision to leave HIS TEAM & move on to play on Dewayne Wade’s Team to capture his 1st Ring isn’t any different than Durant’s Decision to leave HIS TEAM & move on to Steph Curry’s Team in search of his 1st Ring. It just appears that Durant waved the white flag after being up 3-1 & still losing to the Warriors the year before. But the Jordan’s, Magic’s, Bird’s, Dr J’s, Russell’s & few others stayed true to their teams.
Ya think Durant will go back to OKC after he gets his Ring in GS to help OKC get one? Highly unlikely. However in Lebron’s case, he was a born n bred native of Cleveland so it stung a little deeper.

I don’t find fault with Cleveland for being both furious and deeply appreciative that he returned. For everybody else I think too much was made of both decisions. Lebron had a right to look out for his own interests. Likewise, when he returned, it wasn’t all selflessness. Wade was clearly on the downslope, and Cleveland already had one of the most dynamic, young PGs. Lebron is roster savvy. I don’t believe for a minute Lebron thought he was going to a worse situation on the court.

At least Lebron is focused on the rings. The NBA seems to have a competitiveness problem with the modern players. There is too much focus on “brand” and the next contract. I can’t imagine the Bad Boys being terribly concerned about their brand during the summer. They were hunting rings. I can respect that, though I despised that team while liking some individual players.

I don’t blame players for looking out for themselves. They should, but this generation has taken it to another level. It’s a time honored tradition that players lollygag during the season. 82 games. It’s survival. However, one thing that surprised me in the first round was how little difference there was between the playoff games and regular season games in terms of expended energy. In the 80’s the players had a lot more pep in their step when the playoffs arrived. Also, if you are getting paid $250k per game, you can stay out of the clubs during the postseason if you have a game in the next 48 hours.

BTW, Dudley, I totally understand being rubbed more than the wrong way about the soda thing. Unacceptable. That said, we aren’t always on our best behavior at that age or any other. It’s one line in the ledger, and who knows how maturity has changed Lebron. Given the adulation that has been showered on him since he was a teenager, he almost wouldn’t be human if he were completely grounded.

Game 1 confirms what I thought - Cleveland has no answer for Golden State’s offense. Could have been much worse if the Warriors hadn’t missed so many lay-ups.