As the NBA Playoffs continue, the end of the season is within sight. The prediction of who would be in the Finals from each conference is looking like it will be what most writers predicted way back in October: the Golden State Warriors from the west and the Cleveland Cavaliers from the east.
The Warriors have rolled through the playoffs, having yet to lose a game. They swept the Trailblazers and the Jazz and have won three games against the Spurs so far. The Spurs and their genius coach Gregg Popovich were thought to stand a better challenge than the previous two teams, but MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard went down with an ankle injury in game one and hasn’t played since. When Leonard went out, the Spurs were up by 20 points, and they have only led for a handful of minutes since. Leonard is a game changing player, and his defense was single handedly shutting down the Warriors. But the Spurs haven’t stood much of a chance without him.
Stephen Curry has been having a resurgent postseason. His numbers dropped off a bit during the regular season with the arrival of Kevin Durant, an extra scoring presence on the team. Curry is averaging 28 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. He has shown a lot of professionalism with Durant coming in and taking touches away, and still being able to step up when Durant went down with an injury.
The Cavaliers had been having just as good of a postseason until their game three loss to Boston. They too had won their first 10 games until they blew a 20 point lead to the Celtics. They were able to turn the tables on the Celtics and take a 3-1 series lead when they staged a comeback of their own. The Cavs shot 70 percent in the second half and Kyrie Irving scored 42 points to lead the way. Lebron James has been having a historic playoffs, but had one of his first games on Sunday as he disappeared, not scoring any points in the final 16 minutes of the game. He is averaging 32 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block per game, while shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three. Not usually known as a shooter, Lebron has taken one of his biggest weaknesses and turned it into a strength.
More likely than not, the Cavs and Warriors are on a collision course for their third straight NBA Finals matchup. This would be the so called rubber match since each have won once in the past two years. Golden State has the advantage with Durant now on their team, but Lebron won’t go down without a fight.
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