NBA Finals: Potential x-factors for the Cavs and Warriors


The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals for the third straight season beginning this Friday, June 1, but this time the victor will be able to boast years down the road as to how they won the rubber match between these two great teams.

There's no question that, since the last time these two teams met in the postseason, the Warriors have gotten a lot more deadly-have become the kind of team that seems highly unlikely, for instance, to blow a 3-1 lead. Cleveland is second in point differential to Golden State (plus-16.3 compared to plus-13.6), and the Warriors are first in opponent field goal percentage with the Cavs third.

"I think it's going to be fascinating to see how often Mike Brown praises Cleveland management and ownership for the great job they did (this season)", Van Gundy said. Basically, you'll see the ball be entered into Draymond [Green] at either the elbow or at the top of the key, and then Draymond will read what happens and make a decision where to go with the ball.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland. Steph is making tough shots, Klay is making tough shots and KD is making tough shots. In that sense, the two biggest x-factors of this year's championship round will be whether or not LeBron can increase the already ungodly minutes totals he has been accumulating throughout these playoffs, and if he does, will he run out of gas by the end of the series.

Without a question, MJ has the upper hand there with six titles to LeBron's three and a 100 percent record in championship series to King James' 3-of-7. "It's the way of the league, and I think the prestige of playing 82 is not what it's used to be, and this is the way it's going to be". "Now that they have Durant, they can use him in that split action, too".

For Golden State, the story is an entirely different one.

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"It's a hard thing because you can't tell players to play if they're injured", Taylor said.

What you should be watching for ... "It's like, we're in the NBA Finals".

Taylor said the league's schedule makers will work more closely with the networks, trying to reduce travel surrounding nationally televised games while encouraging teams that do rest their stars to do it during home games. Watch Curry on this play, as he sprints up the lane and the two big men slide together, effectively shutting the door on the defender and creating an open look for one of the NBA's best 3-point shooters.

When arguing why LeBron James doesn't belong in the conversation with Michael Jordan when discussing all-time National Basketball Association greats, you will typically hear about MJ's championships and his Finals' infallibility.

LeBron James exploits a mismatch with Boston's Kelly Olynyk. "He's their best passer, and he's usually the best passer on the court".