Game 1 of the NBA Finals commences in the early hours. Ronan Grace of RTE's Comedy Bites previews the battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James Vs History
LeBron has the ability to win games by himself but he probably can't win a series entirely on his own. If his supporting cast manage to fire on a couple of occasions, the hometown (kind of, almost) hero just might break one of the longest championship droughts for a city in U.S sports history.
The big question of these finals is not just WHO WILL step up to help King James win his 5th title but WHO CAN? If LeBron was to win the 2015 NBA Playoff finals, while all others around him are literally crumbling (Kyrie,Kevin Love etc etc), he will achieve something, in my opinion, greater than the current greatest, His Airness, Michael Jordan.
Though he will only have five rings to Jordan’s six, his body of work is superior. Also, Jordan always had Scottie Pippen and a pretty solid supporting cast, including the the first year Golden State coach, Steve Kerr.
This year James has had to do it all himself and not just playing, if reports are to be believed he has taken a hands on role at every level of the Cleveland organisation, from coaching to recruiting, to elaborate marketing campaigns, he still has, barring injury, at least half a decade left being a very very good basketball player,but it's probable that we are at the tail end of his peak.
However, like all massive stars, he won't burn out before going Supernova first. This could be the finals where King James cements his place on at the peak basketball’s All-time Pantheon. As good as all the other pieces in these Finals are, #23 is the best reason to tune in and stay up late over the next few weeks.
Steph Curry and his Offense VS Physics
Steph Curry is a strange superstar because he doesn't have the look of someone like LeBron (6`8” and 18 stone of quick twitch muscle), but put a basketball in his hand and the man becomes a machine. A masterful passer and dribbler, with the intelligence to enforce an almost gravitational pull on big games.
Add in the fact that he is the greatest shooter this planet has ever seen and you have the makings of a bone fide great.
He will break your ankles with his amazing handle and then break your heart with his freakish shooting. If this guy gets a sliver of space he is going to exploit it with a pass, shoot or drive.
He will probably be guarded mostly by Iman Shumpert but even if Shumpert, a high end defensive player, slows him down he won't stop him because no-one can! The amount of attention Curry commands opens up the floor for his not as deadly but still pretty deadly teammates and, unlike Lebron, he is surrounded by studs operating within one of the most effective offensive systems in the NBA and one of the most exciting teams of all time. At its best, Golden States offence resembles an unstable element, fizzing around a petri dish during a controlled but visually stunning science experiment. Few have moved the ball with such pace and precision and when they click, it’s one of the of the most devastating attacks in all of sports versus the best one man team of all time.
He continues the grand tradition that, I think, was started by Mick Galwey, of athletes taking an adorable child up in his arms after a game in front of television cameras. The difference is that Steph has always, thus far, done it as a winner (sorry gallimh!). Here’s Riley Curry, daughter of Steph, being impossibly cute after her dad dismantled the Houston Rockets.
The Wallaby Walloper VS. The Aussie Irritant
The Australians that will feature in this year’s NBA finals play very different positions and roles in their respective teams, but like most of their countrymen, they are ultra-competitive, win at all costs, and are agent provocateurs who have a gift for infiltrating opposing players’ skin. Horrible to play against but great for the casual fan that enjoys their non-contact sports with a twist of violence.
Andrew Bogut (GSW)
One of the best defensive big men in the league. In our parlance, one of the league's top wind-up merchants. Keep an eye on him under the basket pushing and niggling on almost every play he is involved with. He got Dwight Howard ejected from the decisive game in the last serious.
He seems to push and pull Howard so much that the Rockets centre simply can't take it anymore . He would probably do well in the Ulster Championship. He is a plague but also a super effective big who is going to have an interesting battle with Russian Timothy Mozgov.
Matthew Dellavedova (CAVS)
Another man who can only be described as an absolute f###king plague! Here is a clip of a man getting so annoyed he RKO`s him right in the head.
He never gives up, doesn't mind getting physical and is developing a reputation for being a sneaky operator with a ravenous appetite for the darker aspects of the game. Saying that, he also had a breakout career best game a few weeks ago in the playoff against the Wizards.
The AFL’s (you could imagine him punching the head off a Mayo lad in a compromise rules game) loss is the NBA’s gain because there isn't a dull moment when this ozzie nutter is on the floor and with Kyrie Irving’s fitness in doubt, we might be seeing more of him then expected.
Kyrie Vs Klay
A healthy Kyrie is the third best player in this year’s finals, and though he is suspect on the defensive end he a spectacular offensive player. A bit like Klay Thompson who is also the second best player on his team and has a habit of not being able to control game as much as they should. LeBron and Steph are pretty unlikely to directly face each other but these two will be closer on the court and the person who gets the better out of this match-up of them will massively augment their teams chances of glory. They are both capable of detonating defences in quick blitz
Here is the schedule for the insomniacs among you:
05/06 2.00am [email protected]
07/06 1.00am [email protected]
09/06 2.00am [email protected]
11/06 2.00am [email protected]
14/06 2.00am [email protected]* if nessecary
16/06 2.00am [email protected]*
19/06 2.00am [email protected]*
I think Golden State Warriors CAN win it but I think LeBron James HAS to win.
Prediction: Cavaliers in 7