The LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and the All-Star-stacked Golden State Warriors are about to face off in an epic showdown in their third straight NBA Finals series. With hot takes and predictions flying, the Hoops Nation writers weigh in with their ideas on who will win the series.
With Golden State taking Game 1 in emphatic fashion, will these predictions come through, or is another surprise on the cards? Remember to vote in the poll at the end of this article to have your say.
*All predictions were made before the start of Game 1 of the Finals.
James Cragg: Warriors in 6. The ferocity and tenacity both teams will be playing at for the entirety of these Finals will make up for just how dire the Conference Finals were. This is undoubtedly a rivalry now. While Cleveland almost solely depend on LeBron James to run their entire offense, Golden State have several options. It took a remarkable comeback from the Cavaliers, which was nothing short of a miracle, to topple the Dubs last season, but this year with the addition of Kevin Durant I really can’t look past a Golden State win.
Temi Okulate: Cavaliers in 7. LeBron has been dominant against KD since Durant first entered the league. That includes LeBron’s 4-1 series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
Kyrie Irving has gotten the better of Stephen Curry so far in previous outings. Last year that matchup was the key to Cleveland winning the whole thing. Klay Thompson has had a difficult time scoring the ball in the playoffs so far. He is shooting below 40-percent from the field and has seemed to have been forgotten in the Warriors’ offense.
The Cavaliers have dominated Golden State with their physicality over the years, and that won’t change this series. Despite the Warriors’ offensive firepower, the Cavs have what it takes to make it difficult for them. The referees are more inclined to swallow a whistle in the Finals, which will be an advantage for Cleveland, too.
Johnny D’Agostini: Warriors in 6. The Cavaliers pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sporting history last year. Then the Warriors signed an MVP-caliber player as well as some much needed cheap talent (echoes of ring chasing). Curry is focused and looking for revenge. However, LeBron and company won’t give up so easily. The Cavs will win a game in Oakland.
Matthew Keyser: Cavaliers in 7. LeBron is hungry for this one and his legacy may be somewhat on the line. It will come down to the role players and I think Cleveland’s will perform better. Irving will outplay Curry again and potentially not having Steve Kerr will hurt the Warriors more than we expect.
Jack Bloomfield: Warriors in 7. These Warriors are ready to fight for a title. Durant has been waiting for one from the day he arrived in the league, and he will not let this chance slip away. I expect him to play extraordinarily this Finals, possibly even matching LeBron in terms of overall play. Look for Durant to win the Finals MVP if the Warriors come out as the winners. Curry is going to come out firing as well, and if he can maintain a fighter’s mentality for the entirety of the Finals, he could finally outplay Kyrie and prove his doubters wrong. The one X-Factor the Cavaliers have that they didn’t have last time is Kyle Korver. If the Warriors can keep Korver and the rest of Cleveland’s bench contained, the Dubs can come out with another title, but not without having to fight the whole way.
— James (@JCraggSport) June 2, 2017