The Benchwarmer Report: An NBA Final Rematch for the Ages

Elizabeth Salsberg - 3T Nanotechnology
Posted on: June 21, 2016

NBA fans, welcome to the Final! And what a Final it has been. The top regular season team, the Golden State Warriors (Steph Curry, et. al.) are duking it out in a rematch with the LeBron et. al. (the Cleveland Cavaliers). The Warriors are the defending NBA champions; the Cavs are looking for Cleveland’s first major sports title in an eon.

Many basketball fans anticipated the rematch. However it was not anticipated that, a) the series would even go to six games let alone seven, and b) that each game would be won by a comfy 10-point cushion.

After steamrolling the rest of the NBA (73-9), it seemed quite likely that Golden State would be able to put away most opponents in the playoffs. I daresay they played far superior basketball to Cleveland and against stronger opponents, like OKC and the San Antonio Spurs to name a few. While Cleveland did finish first in the East (hardly a surprise), what was surprising is that the second-seeded Raptors finished only one game back. When Steph Curry was forced to play injured during the playoffs, it certainly hurt the Warriors a bit… they needed game 7 to knock off OKC in the conference finals. LeBron’s Cavs? They swept both of their first two opponents, and needed six to put away the Raptors. Indeed, it can be argued that LeBron should have had a far easier time with the Raptors than the Warriors did with OKC.

Let’s recap the series so far. The Warriors raced out to a 3-1 lead after four games. With game 5 set to go at home, it looked like they were in the driver’s seat. But back came LeBron and the Cavs—to show us this series is far from over. Following back-to-back 41-point performances, LeBron (along with another 41-point game 6 performance from point guard Kyrie Irving), the series is knotted at 3 games apiece.

The decisive game 7 is to be played this Sunday night in Oakland and has already happened by now. What’s intriguing about this game is whether or not it will be like the others, with one team leading the other by a significant margin to take the game (and the championship). Could one be a nail biter?

Another interesting question is whether Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors can recover psychologically after losing their cool in game 6. Curry fouled out and threw his mouth guard into the first row of fans. Staying out of foul trouble will be critical if they’re going to regroup and win game 7. Remember, this is the NBA: Anyone who breathes near LeBron automatically gets a foul.

That’s not to shine bad light on LeBron. He may be a bit of a baby, but there is absolutely no question that he is by far the most well-rounded and overall best player in the NBA since Michael Jordan.  For the Cavs fan (or objective basketball fan), he is truly compelling to watch. If the Cavs win, most of the credit goes to this man for coming up big when it counted.

Because I like making predictions, I want to say the Cavs win. But by the time you read this, you’ll know if I’m right or wrong. Happy Finals, and looking forward to the 2016-2017 NBA campaign! It’s been a great one.