Today's the day. Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Can you believe it?
Last year, the Golden State Warriors rallied to a six-game series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. While Golden State were the winners, the most talked about player was obviously LeBron James.
James was without Kevin Love for most of that postseason, and then Kyrie Irving went down after Game 1. Still, the Cavs put up a fight and even had a 2-1 series led on the Warriors until losing three straight to lose the series.
The Cavs are now fully healthy, but the Warriors are even better this year. Of course, they won 73 games, a new league record. Stephen Curry was even more amazing this season, taking home the unanimous MVP honors.
They even rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals versus the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are definitely ready and battle-tested for this series.
But the Cavs are no joke either. You can say whatever you want about the Eastern Conference being weak and what not, but starting off winning 10 straight postseason games is amazing.
The Cavs' offense looks like it's on fire. LeBron looks better than ever, playing with his finally healthy big three. James has been efficient shooting and doesn't have to do as much scoring-wise like he did in last year's Finals.
Thanks to Love and Kyrie, James doesn't have to worry as much about the scoring load. Of course, he is still prime for a big 40-point game, and you can easily count on him to rack around 7-10 rebounds and 6-10 assists.
JR Smith has been on fire, too. He was terrible in last year's Finals, but it looks like this year's postseason run could be redemption.
His defense continues to be underrated, and it will be a major key (word to DJ Khaled) as he guards sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who has arguably been the best player for the Warriors this postseason.
I think the most important matchup will be Kevin Love vs Draymond Green. Whoever is able to get the upper hand in that matchup will be the reason their team wins the series. We will just have to see.
But who do I have winning the 2016 NBA Finals when it's all said and done? Will the Warriors repeat and start a potential dynasty? Will Curry finally be recognized as the best basketball player on the planet, taking over King James' throne?
Or will it be the Cavaliers, who get revenge and bring the city of Cleveland's first title that they desperately need? Can LeBron capture his third elusive ring and finally come through on his promise for the Cavs? Will he finally show that he is still the best basketball player, not Curry?
It's hard for me to pick. My heart says Cavs in 6, but my mind tells me Warriors in 6. I've been a big fan of LeBron, and it would hurt to see him lose a fifth Finals and a third straight one at that.
However, this Warriors team is pretty damn good. They didn't win 73 games for nothing. Seeing them rally down from 3-1 is crazy, and it makes you think they can beat the Cavs even if they were down 3-0.
I think I'm going to go with my heart here. Even if the Warriors win, I wouldn't be surprised. Just know that it's Cleveland I'm rooting for. It's just a great storyline if they win for many various reasons, and that is what makes the game of basketball and sports in general so awesome.
#AllInCLE, #BronGang, whatever you want to call it—I got the Cavs in 6.