The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have been looked virtually flawless through two rounds, so is there anything any team can do to knock off either squad?
Starting with Cleveland, they have been the best team of the postseason, going 8-0. They have run through the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, using a barrage of three point shooting in the process.
In their four game sweep of the Hawks, the Cavs sank 77 three pointers, including a record breaking 25 in game two and every player was in on the action. JR Smith hit seven threes in game two and shot 50% from deep in the series. Kyrie Irving was on fire in all four meetings and hit a staggering 66% of his three point attempts. Kevin Love hit eight of his 15 threes in game four and took over in the second half. Trade deadline acquisition Channing Frye hit seven of nine in game three, and the list goes on.
Every player for the Cavs has stepped up at one point or another, and it seems as though the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors will just be playing for a consolation prize in the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s just become an accepted fact that whatever team LeBron James plays for will make it to the NBA Finals.
Golden State has had the harder and more headline-worthy first two rounds. Drawing the Houston Rockets in the first round in a rematch of last years Western Conference Finals was a good headline to start with, but with Stephen Curry’s injury, the world wondered whether the Warriors could make a run without their leader.
The Curry-less Warriors would finish off the Rockets in five, and then polished off Portland with the help of a 17 point overtime performance from Curry in his first game back.
A matchup of Golden State and the Oklahoma City Thunder is intriguing on paper, but the Warriors swept Oklahoma City in the regular season. Big man Steven Adams stepped up big time against the San Antonio Spurs, but with Warriors perimeter oriented attack, his effectiveness is in question.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have carried the Thunder to the Conference Finals once again, and both are averaging over 25 points per game. Nobody has stepped up as a potential third option, something OKC has lacked since trading James Harden after reaching the NBA Finals.
The Warriors have the depth, championship pedigree and style of play to combat the Thunder’s high powered offense to get by.
Both the Warriors and the Cavaliers have breezed through the playoffs heading into the Conference Finals and seem to have an advantage over their opponents in every way. It would be a shock to basketball fans around the world if LeBron and Steph Curry don’t battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the second straight year.
Cover Photo via CBSNews