5. Golden State is the best 3-point shooting team, while the Cavs have the best 3-point defense in the playoffs, who has the advantage?
CK: I will always choose the defensive side of any matchup, three point shooting especially. The saying “defense wins championships” exists for a reason. A good defense can shut off an opponent’s offense, and makes them have to work harder to do anything. Tristan Thompson has become a beast, Iman Shumpert has played as advertised and Timofey Mozgov is fantastic in the key. Even better than that, Matthew Dellavedova has proven himself to be an abrasive defender on the ball, and can throw opponents off of their games. This team held Steph Curry to 18 points and Klay Thompson to 13 points in the second face-off they played this season, and they’ve only gotten better since.
MA: Unfortunately, the Warriors have the advantage here. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have been great defensive acquisitions for the playoffs alone, and there’s no question that they’ll help guard the perimeter along with LeBron and Thompson. However, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes are unstoppable together. We can not shut down all of the three every night this series, and if we did, we’d sweep the Warriors. That’s not something I could see any team in the league doing, but it will be interesting to see how the offensive and defensive match ups play out.
JL: The Warriors have experienced injury scares with both of their 3-point shooters, Curry in Game 4 and Thompson in Game 5. With the injury scares, the Warriors won’t be at %100 and shooting a three continuously throughout a game can be hard if you’re fatigued or not at your best. You also live by the three and die by the three when you play like the Golden State Warriors. In my opinion, the Cavaliers should have Shumpert cover Curry for the majority of the series. In the end, I still see the Warriors doing damage with the 3-point shot. However, it won’t be at an effective rate.
CS: The Warriors have made 173 three pointer’s this playoffs, shooting at a 38% clip. On the flip side, the Cavs have allowed opponents to convert only 28% of their threes. With that being said, I have to give this one to the Warriors and the Splash Bro’s specifically. While you might be able to take away one of either Curry or Thompson, you can’t take away both. While Iman Shumpert will do a good job guarding one of those guys, the Cavs don’t have another defender good enough to handle the other (even though JR has played some pretty good defense this year).
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