The only excuses I'll accept for not having heard about the Golden State Warriors' historic 2014-15 Season are literally living under multiple rocks, or a habit of running screaming from any mention of "SPORT." For those who fall under that category, I'll sum it up: this season saw a 67-15 record, 60+ wins for the first time in the Warriors franchise, Klay Thompson scored an NBA record 37 points in one quarter, and among other greatness, Steph Curry was named NBA Most Valuable Player.
This past Wednesday, the Warriors made it to the NBA Finals, which after all I've told you above should come as no surprise. But now, the real test comes: beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and their newsworthy frontman, LeBron James. Though I may be among the minority, I see the next series as not much of a challenge (this is me saying you're wrong, Charles Barkley). My reasons are as follows:
1. Chemistry: as a layman with absolutely no understanding of what it means to play in the NBA, I will nevertheless claim I haven't seen chemistry like the Warriors have in pretty much any other team that made it to the playoffs this year. Watching the Warriors play is like some analogy for perfection I can't think of right now. Except for the last series, their mechanics have been simple and fluid, every player understanding his role on the court perfectly. Though sometimes it may seem like one player outshines the rest (hello Steph), without one single player, the Warriors run could've gone a little differently.
2. Speed: I tried to tolerate watching the Cavs play the no. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks to make it to the Finals. But after the high-energy fast-paced nature of the Warriors/Rockets games, the Eastern Conference Finals basically put me to sleep. In my version of the next few games, the Warriors will be moving so fast the Cavs won't see what hit them, a la Chris Paul.
3. Health: Though Klay took a scary knee to the ear in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, the doctors say he's cleared for the next game. Marreese Speights, out for the last five games, has also been cleared for "duty." The success of the Warriors by no means depends on a single player (see number 1), but without half of the Splash Brothers or Speights at the rim, things would be tougher. The same cannot be said for the Cavs, who are out Love and Varejao, not to mention Irving's questionable health. Left with second stringers, LeBron may need to carry the team more than usual.
4. Talent > Ego: In my opinion, the most important item on the list. When Curry accepted his MVP award, (if you are wondering, I will admit that I cried during his speech), he mentioned each member of his team, almost equally, as a reason for the Warriors historic season. It is a known fact in basketball, and many other sports, that there are often talented players who will take the back seat for a game, a series, sometimes a season. It's a testament to the organization and the attitude of our Warriors that each player knows his value and role. Very rarely does the NBA encounter a team with as little ego and as much humility as the Warriors have. (Keeps the fans coming back, and the chemistry working.)
5. Statistics: Saved for last because, let's be honest, it'll probably be the most convincing. According to 538's talent predictions (if you like sports and you aren't reading their articles, well, you should now), LeBron James' 2015 NBA Finalist Cav's "supporting cast" only barely beats his 2007 "supporting cast," making them the ninth least talented NBA finalists since 1985. This puts them well below not only Steph Curry and the Warriors (ranked 14th best since 1985), but also below all of James' endeavors with the Heat. Since he only won 2 with them... I think the odds are in our favor.
6. Riley Curry: So I lied. There's one more reason we will (have to) win. How could they disappoint this sweet face??
Thanks for sticking around to the end! See y'all tomorrow, 6PM sharp.
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