Tomorrow, June 4th, marks the start of the NBA Finals, maybe one of the greatest finals match ups, between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs came out of the Eastern conference with relative ease. The only team that beat them in any series were the Chicago Bulls, who only got two games out of them. They swept the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Golden State didn't have much trouble in the Western Conference either. They swept the New Orleans Pelicans, beat the Memphis Grizzlies in six and beat the Houston Rockets in the conference finals in five games. Both teams should be very well rested since they cake walked to the finals and have had nine days off.
The Cavs have been bitten by the injury bug in the playoffs, losing Kevin Love for the playoffs in their first round series and Kyrie Irving is at about, I'd say, thirty percent tops. Lebron James has/had one or both ankles sprained, but he should be 100% by the time the Finals start tomorrow night. Golden State on the other hand have had some close calls, with that scary fall from Stephen Curry in the conference finals and the concussion suffered by Klay Thompson, also in the conference finals, but they have stayed pretty healthy for the most part. Klay Thompson was cleared yesterday to play in Game One of the Finals.
Now, let's breakdown the rosters of each team. Cleveland boasts the best player in the world, Lebron James. They also have former All Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving, but as I said, he's very injured right now. With Kevin Love out, after those three, the Cavs have, at best, a rag tag bunch of players. Some are fringe All Stars like JR Smith and Iman Shumpert. They have a decent rim protector in Timofy Mozgov. A relentless rebounder in Tristan Thompson, although his offense leaves something to be desired. After these six guys, they only have a few other players who see any type of real minutes in the NBA. Their next guy in line is probably Matthew Dellavedova, who's a relentless hustler, but may also be the dirtiest player in the playoffs.(just ask Kyle Korver, Al Horford, and Taj Gibson). After him no one besides James Jones or Shawn Marion really see the floor at all and that's just for their shooting abilities since they're liabilities on defense, then can guard no one. Mike Miller, Brendan Haywood, Joe Harris and Kendrick Perkins round out the rest of the roster, but the four of them only get in during garbage time. What this team does have though, is Finals experience. Lebron James has played in five straight NBA finals(a record). Along with James, Mike Miller and James Jones played with him while they were on the Miami Heat when they were regulars in the Finals and Brendan Haywood was on the Dallas Mavericks when they won the 2011 NBA Championship. Golden State on the other hand has a roster with no NBA Finals experience, but it's loaded with talented players all over the floor. They also go way deeper than seven players like the Cavs do. Golden State is led by 2015 NBA MVP, and best shooter and ball handler in the league, Stephen Curry. The rest of their starting five consists of, the other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, Defensive Player of the Year runner up, Draymond Green, supreme rim protector and rebounding monster Andrew Bogut and lock down defender and all around great athlete, Harrison Barnes. The bench has some pretty key components as well. First off the bench for Golden State is Andre Iguodala who they still run some parts of their offense through and he's still a pretty good defender. After Iguodala, they have 6'7 point guard Shaun Livingston, instant offense in Leandro Barbosa, one defensive minded big in Festus Ezeli and one offensive minded big in Mareese Speights. David Lee has not seen much time in the playoffs since he's such a liability on defense, but he was once an All Star. The rest of the bench is rounded out with guys that barely play at all. Guys like, Justin Holiday, Brandon Rush and Ongjen Kuzmic. I'd have to say that Golden State has the better, deeper roster overall. But, like I said, the Cavs have the experience. Both coaches are rookie coaches, so this is their first Finals as head coaches, obviously. Comparing the two is pretty easy in my opinion though. David Blatt is basically a substitute teacher. He looks like he's in charge, but you, me and the rest of the basketball watching world knows that Lebron is not only the Cavs best player, but he's also the coach and the GM. Hell, bench coach Tyronn Lue gets more respect from the players than Blatt does. Steve Kerr on the other hand, took a pretty decent Golden State team and turned them into a 67 win team. This team already played very good defense, but since Kerr has instituted his offense, they went up into a whole new level. This team fires on all cylinders and a lot of that has to do with their head coach. Once again, advantage Golden State. As far as Golden State guarding Lebron, that's a toss up to me. If I had to guess, I'd say they will start with Harrison Barnes on him and if he can't cut it, they will put Draymond Green on him. But let's face it, Lebron will get his. He's a beast. The rest of the matchups are much more of a toss up. A banged up Kyrie Irving won't be able to keep up with Steph Curry. I don't think a fully healthy Irving would be able to stop Curry.Shumpert and Klay Thompson is a wash. Both are excellent defenders, but Klay Thompson is so much better on offense than Shumpert, so I'll give this one to Golden State. The Warrior tasked with guarding Tristan Thompson, be it Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green, better dust off the hard hat and get ready for a rebounding battle. Thompson is relentless on the glass, especially on the offensive glass. Advantage Cavs. Bogut and Mozgov are pretty much equals when it comes to rim protecting and rebounding, but Mozgov is a touch better on offense, so I will give the Cavs the advantage here. The benches are so different. Golden State's bench is about a thousand times better than Cleveland's. A thousand times better. No contest, advantage Golden State. Wth all this being said, even with the starters being pretty even, and Cleveland having the best player in the world, Golden State's team is so much better, their bench and their coach are light years ahead of Cleveland's that I don't see how Golden State doesn't win the championship this season. Lebron will get at least one win because he's Lebron James, but I only see Cleveland getting one game. The Oracle Arena is almost impossible for a road team to win there and Golden State has home court advantage.
I'm picking Golden State to win in five games and Curry will cap off his MVP season with an NBA finals MVP.
(Ed. note: I cannot compete with Ty's breakdown, but I will make my own prediction. We will see Lebron James complete the greatest season a player has ever accomplished and will this Cleveland team to a championship. Cavs in 6.)
Ty is the Pop Culture Editor at Seed Sing. He was all church league first team three years in a row. Follow him on twitter @tykulik.