For weeks now, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gobbled up the creampuffs of the Eastern Conference. And frankly, none of those teams has prepared the Cavs for what they are going to be facing in the NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors are going to be a big upgrade on offense and defense from the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. And I'm not sure that all that rest the Cleveland players have gotten along the way, after quick series sweeps, will make up for the caliber of competition they have faced.
This is going to be a real chore for them. Can Cleveland win? Of course -- if it finds a way to defend the Warriors without having to remove its best offensive players from the floor. Can the Cavs guard Golden State with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the floor? Possibly. But the Warrors' ball and player movement is a going to be a real challenge for the slower Cleveland defenders.
Can the Cavs score with Golden State? Yes, I think so -- particularly if they can consistenty get the ball to LeBron James at the low post, where nobody in basketball has had much luck defending him. The Warriors "lineup of death" small-ball group would have some trouble if the Cavs counter with a lineup featuring LeBron at center, surrounded by their outside shooters. Speaking of which, can Channing Frye continue his torrid outside shooting? That's a big thing.
So is Kevin Love's defense. The Warriors will surely attack him in the pick and roll and in isolation. If he can hande his assignments and stay on the floor, he can have a big impact. And who, by the way, is going to guard Klay Thompson?
Which reminds me, can you believe that two kids who grew up in the swanky suburb of Lake Oswego, sons of former NBA players and former teammates in Little League baseball, are squaring off in the NBA Finals?
I'm going to say the Warriors are going to win this thing in seven games. And it should be a classic.