EDITORIAL BY GRAYDON FOX
1st Place: $50 Amazon gift card
2nd Place: $20 Amazon gift card
3rd-5th Place: $10 Amazon gift card
If there are ties, a random drawing will determine the winner.
Top 5 Winners:
- Kenneth Tom (350 points)
- Daniel Scott (350 points)
- Moonsilverp (350 points)
- Donald Wilmore (329 points)
- Leann Rose (329 points)
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Warriors 109.0 – Cavaliers 99.0 with an over/under of 208.0.
Statistical Breakdown (2017-18 Playoffs):
Point differential: Warriors +8.8 > Cavaliers +1.3
Points per game: Warriors 109.1 > Cavaliers 101.2
Points allowed per game: Cavaliers 99.9 > Warriors 100.3
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Warriors 47.2% > Cavaliers 46.1%
Three Point Percentage: Warriors 35.2% > Cavaliers 33.9%
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Warriors 42.6% > Cavaliers 45.6%
Turnovers committed per game: Cavaliers 12.8 > Warriors 13.5
Turnovers forced per game: Warriors 13.9 > Cavaliers 12.2
Rebounds per game: Warriors 46.2 > Cavaliers 40.2
Assists per game: Warriors 25.6 > Cavaliers 18.8
The Cleveland Cavaliers will represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals for the fourth consecutive year after defeating the Boston Celtics in seven games. The Cavaliers are heavy underdogs against Golden State (+10.0) in game one on the road. Lebron James is having an epic postseason averaging 34.0 PPG on 54% shooting, 9.2 RPG, and 8.8 APG. Kevin Love has battled injuries and inconsistency averaging 13.9 PPG and 10.0 RPG. Love will have to improve on his dismal 38.8% shooting if Cleveland wants to have any chance to knock off the reigning champs. Kyle Korver (9.8 PPG), George Hill (9.7 PPG), and J.R. Smith (8.5 PPG) have to space the floor and knock down their open three-point shots. Jeff Green (8.3 PPG) was tremendous in the Boston series and provides great defensive versatility. Throughout the playoffs, the Cavaliers have been phenomenal defensively but have really struggled to score when Lebron isn’t putting up absurd numbers. Cleveland is a one-dimensional isolation basketball team as their second leading assist man George Hill is averaging 2.2 APG. This postseason, the Cavaliers are averaging 101.2 points per game (13th) and allowing 99.9 (2nd).
The Golden State Warriors will represent the Western Conference in the Finals after dispatching the Houston Rockets in a grueling seven game series. Golden State’s dominance is unprecedented with four All-Stars playing together in the prime of their careers. The Warriors are led by two former league MVP’s in Kevin Durant (29.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 4.1 APG) and Stephen Curry (24.8 PPG and 4.9 APG). Klay Thompson is having his finest postseason yet averaging 20.5 PPG shooting a ridiculous 43% from three-point range. Draymond Green is nearly averaging a triple-double with 11.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, and 8.1 APG. The health of Andre Iguodala is a huge X-factor because he has played great against Cleveland even taking home a Finals MVP in 2015. The starters for Golden State have to play great because if the Warriors have one weakness it’s their bench which has provided very little in the postseason. In the playoffs, the Warriors are averaging 109.1 points per game (2nd) and allowing 100.3 (3rd).
If there is any silver lining for the Cavaliers it is that they are more athletic and better equipped to handle the Warriors defensively. Cleveland’s lack of ball handlers and playmaking will allow the Warriors to lock in on Lebron and exhaust him. The lethal combination of Durant, Curry, and Thompson provides so much spacing that doesn’t allow for trapping or complex defensive schemes. I expect the Cavaliers to play super physically but ultimately the Warriors have too much firepower and have dominated at home (8-1 this postseason).
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