OAKLAND, California (Sporting Alert) — Every year the NBA Finals have proven to be an exciting contest in sports, and the battle for the 2014/15 title will be no different.
Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (Finals, Game #1)
NBA Playoffs, Game 1
Tomorrow, 9:00 PM ET on ABC
Live Streaming on ESPN3.com
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California
On Thursday night LeBron James will lead the Cleveland Cavaliers in just their second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history and they will come up against a very spirited Golden State Warriors team looking to finish off what they started this season.
The implications for Cleveland’s success in this series is huge.
In fact, if the Cavs managed to overpower the Warriors and lift this year’s championship title, it will not only hand the club its first NBA title, but would have also ended a 51 year drought of finally bringing home a championship to the city.
However, this will not be easy, as they face a Warriors team with better credentials and evidently on better form this season.
While the Cavs line up for their sophomore championship, Golden State goes in search of their fourth NBA title.
Prior to this season, the Warriors, as a club, have won three NBA championships (1947, 1956 and 1975) and have also appeared in three other NBA Finals (1948, 1964 and 1967).
They will be making their seventh appearance in the championship on Thursday.
Golden State, which finished the regular season with an impressive 67-15 record, have dropped just three games in this postseason and come into the final on the back of a 4-1 win over Houston in the Western Conference finals.
The Warriors averaged 104.3 points per game in this postseason, leads the playoffs this term with 25.1 assists per game, while shooting lights-out from three-point range.
Looking at the stats sheet though, both the Warriors and Cavaliers head the list from long-range this postseason.
Led by MVP and leading point guard Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr’s side sits first in the playoffs at 35.8-percent from shooting from 3-pointers, while Cleveland sits second with 35.6 percent.
It’s Curry v LeBron…?
Meanwhile, the pundits are backing this series to be decided by two men — James and Curry.
Whichever player wins the dual, their team wins the series?
Of course the supporting cast will be a key factor in this series, but the experts believe the decision will come down to which leading player comes out on top.
Curry, according to the stats gurus, is shooting 31.1 percent of the Warriors’ possessions when he’s on the floor, which is less than James’ 36.4 percent in that same area.
At the same time, a fully healthy Klay Thompson is also as dangerous as Curry when he’s on form and something tells me the shooting guard who has been cleared of a concussion to play in Game 1, will be the one doing most of the hurting to the Cavs when it matters.
Splash brothers Curry and Thompson are the league’s top combined scoring guards and they have a season total close to 4000 points combined.
The likes of Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, and Harrison Barnes will also play huge parts in the Warriors’ hunt for title No. 4.
Cleveland, besides James, who won two titles with the Miami Heat and made it to five NBA Finals, isn’t a team with experience playing in the championship and the pressure to win a world crown could get to them.
Despite taking care of business at the right time in the postseason, include seeing off the Atlanta Hawks to win the Eastern Conference title, the Cavaliers, who are already with Kevin Love, will have a hard time beating Golden State if Kyrie Irving isn’t at full strength.
Regular Season: Series tied 1-1 (home team won both games)
Jan. 9: Warriors 112, Cavs 94
Feb. 26: Cavs 110, Warriors 99
THE ODDS ARE FAVORING…..
Las Vegas has already favored the Warriors to win the 2015 Finals by giving them a 27% chance of sweeping the series. Cleveland has been given a 24% chance of claiming victory.
Golden State had the odds in their favor at 5/11 and Cleveland has been given a 2/1 chance of winning. Most experts claim that the Warriors will win the series in 6 games. However, a few industry insiders believe that Lebron and the rest of the Cavaliers have the ability to pull off the upset.