If It’s a Battle of the Benches, Cleveland Repeats

Updated: May 30, 2017

Everyone is talking about LeBron vs. KD and Kyrie vs. Steph, which is obviously expected. Likely, the majority of this upcoming NBA Finals rubber match is going to be decided by those world class players. But as we know, basketball is a team sport and will take perfection from all of those in the rotation in order to win once again.

It’s obvious that fans are forgetting the Warriors actually lost quite a few key pieces in order to acquire Kevin Durant as a free agent, luring the sellout to Oakland at the promise of rings.

Well, KD must realize the Cavs stand in his way of hoisting up that trophy for the very first time. And to be clear, it’s not just the Big 3 but also a sound bench that will come in and dominate as a death unit of its own.

In order for the Cavs to win these finals, they are going to have to take advantage of the fact that not all four Warrior giants can’t play all 48 minutes. It’s the times when they’re sitting that the Cavs must take full advantage.

This year, the biggest move the Cavs made was trading for sharpshooter Kyle Korver. His three point accuracy is down from a blistering hot 48.5% in the regular season to a still-hot 41.5% in the playoffs. I have a feeling that he’s in for a big series once he gets rid of the jitters of playing in his NBA Finals in his 14 seasons.

Additionally, another acquisition in Deron Williams is also crucial. He’s solidified the backup point guard spot and can actually keep the ship afloat without LeBron or Kyrie playing the point guard role. Then toss in RJ and Channing, two experienced veterans, and the Cavs have control of the court.

Note: If Derrick Williams or Kay Felder even touch the floor, it’s either really good or really bad.

So while the Warriors lost Festus Ezeli, Brandon Rush, Leandro Barbosa, Mo Speights and Anderson Varejao, they added some bodies in Matt Barnes, Javalee, McGee, David West, Zaza Pachulia, Patrick McCaw and Damian Jones.

The additions aren’t better than the subtractions, hence the term “bodies,” whereas the Cavs really, really improved their bench from a team seemingly rolling with the starting five for much of the finals last year.

This is where the Cavs take advantage, galvanize the team and win games. To think like Rocky, they’ve got to take the Warriors best punches, withstand it and then come back with a counter via the second unit for the knockout.

The four aforementioned stars are all going to shine in what’s setup to be another great finals. Then bruisers like Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green plus shooters like JR Smith and Klay Thompson will do their thing as well.

If everything cancels out, it’s going to come down to whomever comes off the bench and just gives their team that little edge to make it to the top. The biased national media may not see it, but these teams are so close to one another it’s unbelievable. Media members will cry “regular season doesn’t matter” yet use it to judge the defending champs. It is actually mind-boggling.

Sure, the Warriors have the better record, but they went try-hard last year, too, and look what happened. If the regular season did matter, the Cavs would’ve played a lot harder and gotten the one seed plus a better record. If you throw that away and simply look at a playoff sample size, the teams had an almost identical path…

Easy teams, injured teams and a clear trip to the the finals. The Cavs lost just one game and it was obviously due to lack of focus and nothing else which won’t occur in the finals. Please don’t try and say the Warriors took the harder road.

So buckle up and get ready for what’s going to be a crazy NBA Finals. But just know, it’s when those players start to check in that the real chess match begins.

And we know Mike Brown can’t win anything.


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