Yayoy Alcoseba, our legendary coach (and Provincial Board member), businessman Mark Garcia and Golden State Warriors fan Jonas Panerio provide commentary on the NBA Finals...
YAYOY ALCOSEBA. I tip my hat to LeBron James; going to the Finals five straight times is no easy task. I think Cleveland will take the championship. No disrespect to Golden State, who is equally up to the task. But for me being a coach for the longest time, having experience will play a crucial role in winning the championship. I don’t have to explain the championship pedigree LeBron brings to table. The Xs and Os are there but at the end of the day, it’s the team who wants it more. The team who controls the rebounds will win the championship. Every position in this type of game is crucial. The more rebounds, the more positions.
MARK GARCIA. This year’s Finals will have all the intrigue since it will be a matchup of the current MVP versus the 4-time MVP. It will be interesting to see how Curry performs in the biggest stage as well as how LeBron would respond especially after last year’s loss to the Spurs. Both teams are on a roll. The Warriors would rely on their high-powered motion offense and lock down defense while the Cavs will rely on their much-improved playoff defense, LeBron’s post up game and passing ability.
It will be interesting who the Warriors would use to defend LeBron as well as who the Cavs will use to defend Curry and Thompson. Will the Warriors double LeBron in the post to force him to pass out to other guys for the open shot? Or would they play LeBron one on one and won’t mind letting him score 40 to 50 points as long as the other Cavs players aren’t involved?
Will a jump-shooting team like the Warriors finally win? Can the Cavs win it by isolating LeBron all game long? Will LeBron’s experience put the Cavs over the top?
In the end, I think that the Warriors motion offense, outside shooting, fast break game, bench play, and multiple LeBron defenders (Barnes, Iguodala, Green) would overwhelm the Cavs. I pick the Warriors to win it in 6 but I would never count out the Cavs just because they have LeBron who, together with Kobe and Curry, are my favorite players.
JONAS PANERIO. While it’s true that the Warriors players lack Finals experience, they have passed a battery of tests in the mighty Western Conference, which includes beating future MVP Anthony Davis, “outhustling” the grit-and-grind Grizzlies before completing a “gentleman’s sweep” of the Rockets. Along the way, the Warriors have laid taste to the who’s-who of the All-NBA First Team – Davis, Gasol and Harden. The Warriors have proven that they can emerge victorious in whichever way possible – be it a slow-down, low-scoring affair, a fast-paced shootout.
In comparison, Cleveland dispatched of a sub-500 Celtics squad, a Bulls team that forgot how to play basketball and a Hawks team that while willing, did not have the manpower needed to make Cleveland sweat.
Let’s get this out of the way: LeBron is the best player on the planet right now. But as Warriors forward Draymond Green so succinctly pointed out, “He is not god.” The Warriors will trust on their disciplined defense, not to mention their platoon of like-sized, long-limbed wings in Iguodala, Thompson, Barnes, Livingston and the First Team All-Defense Green to keep the “King” at bay. If all else fails, there’s always Bogut.
In contrast, who will Cleveland assign to defend the reigning league MVP, Steph Curry? The choices don’t offer much in the way of answers. A less-than 100% Kyrie Irving defending the cat-quick Curry will prove to be disastrous. Okay, so place Shumpert on Curry then. But where does that leave Irving? Against the larger Thompson and Barnes? Get the picture now?
Finally, the Warriors have a rocking, uber-loud arena to call home. It’s not fondly called the “Roaracle” for no reason at all. The Warriors are 7-1 at Oracle Arena in the Playoffs. Come to think of it, only three teams have won at Oracle this season. Three.