Fun Friday: NBA Finals

It’s easy to say this series is going to be a blowout after watching last night’s game.

But I’m not ready to do that.

I think the Cavs will defend their home court and this will go seven games.

What do all of you think?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Tom Labus

    Warriors take one in Cleveland and head to the beach with new rings

  2. jason wright

    basketball doesn’t seem like a particularly inclusive sport – one physical type appears dominant. am i missing something?

    1. pointsnfigures

      There used to be Spud Webb (5’6″) and Muggsey Bougues. Curry is 6’2″. I think Isiah Thomas was a better all around player than Curry and he was 6’1″

      1. awaldstein

        Love this.

    2. edzschau

      Steph Curry is a good example of a regular-sized player being able to have success in the NBA

      1. JamesHRH

        He is the best ball handle in 20 years….and he is 6’4″

        1. edzschau

          Stephen is actually 6’3″. His dad, Dell, is 6’4″.

          1. JamesHRH

            Is normal : average still 5’8″?

  3. pointsnfigures

    7 games is correct if Cleveland passes and cuts on offense (and pick and roll). I saw way to much outside jump shooting last night-which says a lot about Golden State’s defense. I think you beat Golden State by shooting 2’s and getting to the line a lot-slowing down tempo. It goes without saying that you need to control both offensive and defensive boards. Relatively even on the glass last night but Golden State’s bench was the difference. I am pulling for Cleveland because I am empathetic to cities that have gone a long time without a championship.

    1. edzschau

      You make some good points but Cleveland’s offensive success relied on 3 pointers. Frey and Smith were absent this game so getting them going in game 2 is necessary in order to space the door and allow Cleveland to make 2 pointers on back door and cut plays. Cavs also missed 14 shots in the paint which is why they had so many OBs. They defended Klay and Steph well but don’t expect to sustain that in the series. Cleveland needs to find way to support Love and Irving on defense with more frequent switching and double team support. Cleveland cannot run with the Dubs so should try to slow game down, work for the high percentage shot and play team ball. On defense, they need to get better in transition (match Dubs pace by getting back to 3 pt line and basket quickly) and preventing pass to Dubs player who leaks out. All this said, I think the Warriors win in 6. Go Warriors!

  4. LukeH

    The Cavs’ margin of error is razor thin this year. I’m pulling for them to hang in there for 7 to give them a chance to win one for the ‘Land.

    1. LukeH

      go fu*k yourselves in the land

  5. JimHirshfield

    I was expecting a Twitter survey embed.

    1. fredwilson

      i thought about it. wasn’t sure how to do it.

    2. William Mougayar

      More like a blockchain-based wager embedded in a smart contract.Or an Augur prediction market bet.I know I lost you by now…but that was the intent 🙂

  6. William Mougayar

    I watched the 2nd half yesterday.The Warriors have a good bench and they showed it. LeBron looked frustrated.I’m betting on the Warriors. 4-2.

    1. Twain Twain

      4-1. The main thing that stood out was Warriors’ finishing. They converted key loose balls into points in the 1st half too.That unnerved the Cavs who then took more chances with wilder attempts at 3-pointers but their forwards either failed to follow-in on rebounds or arrogantly assumed it would go in the hoop when it wasn’t going to.A lesson in the value of follow-through in strategy and finishing.+++My first-ever experience of a sports bar in SF, btw. AND IT WAS MAD SARDINES” STANDING ROOM!

      1. JamesHRH

        You never cease to amaze Twain.

        1. Twain Twain

          How so, James? :*).

          1. JamesHRH

            Coach of Cavs noted that they missed 28 shots ‘in the paint’. You nailed a key element to the Cavs loss.

          2. Twain Twain

            A-ha, thanks, James.I wasn’t aware Coach of Cavs had said that. My friends and I dipped in and out of the game. One of them is a Physics grad so we were having a discussion about determinism, quantum entanglement and Higgs Boson whilst the game was playing in the background.Every time I looked up, the Cavs seemed to be unable to complete their offensive plays.

    2. Mariah Lichtenstern

      LeBron needs to get his mind right. His ego is bruised by Steph’s rising star and it’s disappointing.

      1. Dwayne Holden

        Didnt you say you are from Oakland, CA ? Between color bias and region bias, it is unfortunate you chose the former.

      2. creative group

        Mariah Lichtenstein:The loss by the Cavaliers wasn’t a LeBron ego issue (LeBron was one assist shy of a Triple double). It was the lack of support by the other big two and bench. We will cut some slack because we acknowledge the majority are casual fans on this blog. We realize most are tennis and Volleyball fans. (No slight intended)

        1. JLM

          .”Normal” for Lebron is a triple double.Normal is not good enough.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. creative group

            JLM:No, a Triple Double was only normal for Oscar Robinson In the 1961–62 season, Robertson became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists. He broke the assists record by Bob Cousy, who had recorded 715 assists two seasons earlier, by logging 899.Another typical comment from a casual fan. The Knicks are the only NBA team we support. We are not fair weather fans. We acknowledge the abilities of any great player and LeBron is one. As Jordan was who extinguishered the Knicks Championship ambitions.

          2. JLM

            .Bit too literal, you are.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. creative group

            JLM:The entire reply you took a day off on.

          4. JamesHRH

            Or he had other things to do.

          5. creative group

            JamesHRH:your nose is much too close to JLM backside. JLM answered the rhetorical question as we expected he would. Now you run along and go play. Nothing to report here. Maybe you can rescue him another time.

          6. JamesHRH

            Listen Dipshit, you’ll have to look a long time and far a field to find a more accomplished person than JLM – he doesn’t need my backup, I was merely pointing out that even a semi-retired JLM likely gets more done in a day than most of us.As for the specifics of your argument, JLM has you dead to rights. Quoting the Big O’s season long TripDoub is a classic, Literalist, fact over impact answer.Only a hyper parsing tool would argue with the suggestion that LBJ couldn’t average a TripDoub. He does not, b/c he is allowing Irving to dominate the ball & Love to get touches, just as he struggled getting right w DWade in Miami.Check yourself. The chances f you being smarter than the AVC regulars are slim to none…….and slim just shook his head a couple of times and went to order a Coors Banquet from the Bartender.

      3. JLM

        .Steph is living — rent free — in Lebron’s head. The only way to overcome someone of Lebron’s native talent is to get into his head. Steph has done this.It is the one place your enemy cannot be allowed to occupy.Series is over before it began.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. creative group

      William Mougayar:Now that prediction is quite a stretch along with the upvotes approval. How about your prediction on the 2015 World Series. Think we will take Kansas City Royals all the way. And why we are predicting the 2016 Yankees will fail to make the playoffs.

      1. William Mougayar

        You have a good memory :)In my 2015 World Series projection, I was conflicted and biased because the Toronto Blue Jays were contenders.

        1. creative group

          William Mougayar:Post was sarcasm. Not a true reflection of your prediction on baseball but your prediction on what seems obvious. Casual fans of any sport that captures the mainstream attention are known for this. Like when the Seattle Seahawks who have been horrible since inception gain fans all over. Same with Golden State since Mark Jackson revived those bums.

    4. Brandon G. Donnelly

      i don’t think it’s going to 7 either

    5. JamesHRH

      Posted it yesterday – Warriors in 5.Like BeaneBall in MLB, the West Coast offence in the NFL & puck possession in the NHL, the NBA has experienced a paradigm shifting revolution.Outside / in or 3 & D hoops is a complete inversion of traditional Bball principles. Ask yourself this question: hoe many Hall of Fame NBA players from the 80s or 90s would you want on the Warriors?Bird. Big Shot Bob Horry. Yep, 3 & D types.Magic, Micjael, Barkley, Hakeem, Kareem, Worthy, Clyde the Glide, Stoxkton, Malone…..not so much.It’s not often a paradigm shift plays out so clearly. Look at the money stapled to the Cavs bench in Mozgov & Thompson,Cavs have no chance to out W the Ws. They win one @ home. Tomorrow they lose by 25.

      1. William Mougayar

        The Cavs could win only if Love and Irving play more as a team, instead of individually. I agree with this analysis:

        1. JamesHRH

          I would add that Irving & Love are too bulky to play spread team defence. They are not quick enough. LeBron’s highly publicized loss of bulk is not something that either Irving or Live can do – they are both Mesomorph., thick bodied types. Neither of them is built like Russ, KD or even Ibaka, which explains why OKC is 2nd best team in the association ( hell, Steve Adams is more agile than Love, when /if he adds a 3 pointer to his arsenal, he’ll get 25M a year).It’s not that they won’t play D, they just can’t defend a great 3 & D team ( which may explain the lack of effort too – they know it’s hopeless ).The Cavs are hooped.

      2. JamesHRH

        @fredwilson @jlm @wmougAhem. Check that last line.

  7. Michael B. Aronson

    It will go 6 or 7, too much money at stake with the tv broadcasts and yes I probably believe in conspiracy theories which I was discussing while on vacation during the OKC GS series in basketball mad croatia.

    1. fredwilson

      The refs helped the Warriors immensely in the Thunder series. Many of the turnovers in the paint by Russ and KD were slaps on the wrists

      1. Pranay Srinivasan

        Refs must have been from Seattle

      2. Jerome Zanet

        you get a technical foul and a fine of $25000 for saying that 🙂

      3. dineshn72

        Ehh, the refs also didn’t call fouls on the mauling that Curry consistently got all over the floor like shown in this clip, so your perception is colored by your biases 😉

    2. LE

      It will go 6 or 7, too much money at stake with the tv broadcastsThat’s actually interesting to me. The idea that if you tied money paid to players (directly) with how much advertising was sold (as a result of how many games were played) you’d put an additional fascinating strategy layer on the game.

  8. Ana Milicevic

    Selfishly I’d like there to be 7 games – makes the series more exciting. The Warriors definitely have a deeper bench and w/ the 3-shots remind me of the beauty of European teams of yore. We’ll see.

  9. RameshJain

    Cavs will fight but seems can not take more than 2 games from Dubs.

    1. fredwilson

      Thunder took three. Do you think the Thunder are better than the Cavs?

      1. Jerome Zanet

        Thunder is way too better team than cavs. Didn’t you see how lebron excels at choking and also scared to take outside jumpers

      2. edzschau

        OKC was a better match up against the Warriors than the Cavs are and they play better defense. Steven Adams played amazing in playoffs which made them a better playoff team than regular season team. Cavs have better offensive weapons (e.g. 3 point shooting) than OKC. Each team has different strengths.

      3. Tadashiyara

        Yes. OKC had better athletes than Golden State; the Warriors had the better team. OKC has much better athletes than Cleveland and that would be enough for them to take a 7-game series: taller, longer, more athletic across the roster.

      4. JamesHRH

        OKC way longer and quicker than Cavs.Thunder played fast / small ball, butthey had Adams @ the 5, Ibaka @ the 4 & Durant @ the 3, w Roberson 6’8″ @ the 2 & Russ.That”s 3 7 footers who can really move, board & are not liabilities on O. Their D was awesome, it was Russ spasms that killed them .Thunder would smoke the Cavs, as would the Spurs.Cavs D is horrible. Offence is flexible ( pound it inside or play 3 ball) but their O scheme is limited – it breaks down under pressure….they don’t run 3, 4 actions to get an open shot. They can only run 1 or 2. Raptors had the same issue, they would set s high screen and that was it.W’s running multiple options off of a series orf actions that can go 4 actions deep, switch sides of the floor or go in (back door cut) & out (pin downs to open up the 3). Kerr is the next Phil & the smiling assassin attitude is the new Zen Philosopher Schtick.Get used to the Ws.

  10. BillMcNeely

    I listened to the 4th quarter on the way to Austin last night. Seems the Cass could get close then lose focus.

  11. Salt Shaker

    Cav’s seemed disoriented. No offensive flow and gave up too many points in the paint. GS showed surprising depth and consistent ball movement (+12 assists vs CLE). Still think this will be a tight series. JR only took 3 shots in 36 minutes. With the Knicks it usually was 36 shots in 3 minutes.

  12. BillMcNeely

    Great NYT article on the great coach of the 40’s and 50’s Lakers championship teams

  13. Dan Moore

    All I know is, I had a heck of a time finding a local radio station on my phone that would stream the game. Checked with local sports stations, no go (am in Colorado, but seriously, it is the NBA finals). Then looked online and found the Cleveland station, but they wanted me to download an app.Finally just went through the (small) hassle of installing the ESPN app on my phone. Since I pay for Comcast (local cable provider) had no trouble getting access.The video on my phone was a bit laggy at times, but still good enough. And I could easily switch away during commercials if I wanted.I am not a big sports fan (obviously), but this was enough for me, and man, what a different sports experience.

    1. Dan Moore

      Oh yes, as for the series length, can’t say I am educated enough for an opinion, but the Warriors looked pretty invincible last night.

  14. Matt Zagaja

    Wait so an NBA Final is not a variable type?

  15. tgodin

    Cavs will win at least one at home. Warriors 4-2 for the trophy.

  16. Pranay Srinivasan

    Cavs defence was rock solid in first half. If they stop underestimating Warriors bench, series will go 7 games. Otherwise Warriors in 6.

  17. Dan Epstein

    I could see 6 or 7 games. I could also see GS taking a 3-0 lead, in which case I think it’s a sweep.

  18. Val Tsanev

    The Warriors will win again. LeBron and Kyrie not enough to stop the GS machine!

  19. joemedved

    I think LeBron wills this to seven games, but I’m a lifelong, overly optimistic Cleveland fan. If he’s executed on the culture shift detailed by Brian Windhorst in this great article, it could happen –…. The story is a great lesson for the startup world.

  20. JaredMermey

    Five games the most but anticipating a sweep. GSW, OKC and SAS were on a different level this year.

    1. edzschau

      Oklahoma was an average playoff team in the regular season. Steven Adams upped his game tremendously which was the big difference in OKC performance against Spurs and Dubs.

  21. Steve Ellis

    Tangential question: Will the networks ever move live sporting events an hour earlier? I can’t stay up to watch an entire game on East Coast time and then get up at my regular time without lack of sleep really getting to me. Starting at 8 EST would be 5 PST which I would think would not be too early. Very frustrating for a sports guy.

  22. Pete Martin

    As a lifelong Clevelander and entrepreneur, I know we have the toughness and mettle to bounce back! It killed me to watch the Warrior’s bench destroy us last night but I think we’ll come back Sunday night. The local media talks about how close to winning we were last year with 2/3 of our starting lineup missing, but it doesn’t matter; all that matters is this year and Game 2…..and the one after that, etal. I predict the Cavs win the next one in Oakland, win both at home, then grind it out to Game 7. Go Cavs!

  23. Matt O'Leary

    I’m going to stick with my original prediction, even after last night. Cavs in 6!

  24. DaveGoulden

    Warriors sweep. Steph and Klay barely showed up last night and the Warriors still had no problems.

    1. edzschau

      Cleveland will take at least one of their first two home games. I predict Warriors in 6 but could also see Warriors in 5.

  25. Juan Carlos

    There’s just no way this goes to 7, sorry Fred. With Steph and Klay going for 20 (combined, lowest all season) and the bench out playing the Cavs bench with such a delta. I think 5 games. 6 if Steph has another poor performance like he did last night.

  26. federico lowenstein

    its a difficult call. the west conferences is so much harder than the east its not fair. i think the warriors in six.

  27. Semil Shah

    Same as William, I’d say 4-2 barring some freak occurrence. Hopefully someone posts the 24app score line from last night’s game to see the 15-0 run.

  28. kidmercury

    not sure how the cavs are going to make ends meet defensively unless love and kyrie up their defensive game significantly. i wanted to see the cavs win (always gotta root for the underdog) but the defensive performance was disappointing. part of me thinks the cavs best shot is to try to outrun and the warriors and take more three points than they do. if i was coach lue i’d think about having lebron run point even more and then help tristan thompson clean up boards after the play is set to get the 2nd chance opportunities while the rest of players on the floor are on 3 and D duty.

    1. JamesHRH

      Offence was the issue last night.Was are light years ahead of the rest of the Association with their offensive progressions. Itlooks like Dantoni / Nash / Suns on steroids.

  29. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, I tried to understand it: So, I went to a highlights clip at…and watched the whole thing. Results:(1) It was FAST, 99% just a blur. Maybe with 10 X slow motion I could have seen something,(2) I saw remarkably few fouls.(3) It seemed that there were very few seconds per person in the paint.(4) I couldn’t tell one player from another.(5) I had no idea who was playing any of the positions, guard, forward, center. Really, it looked like on each ball possession, by the time everyone got past the midcourt line, there was already a score before anyone could take a position.(5) I couldn’t get even a clue about any strategies or tactics. I have no idea which player did what, what a team or player did that was good or not.(6) The athleticism was beyond belief.My guess: The gave is really FAST. From an inbound pass to the next score is VERY FAST. At the inbouinds pass, everyone runs to the other end of the court and — BOOM — there is turnover or a score, nearly always a score.Mostly the play is not when the teams cross the midcourt line but during the running. So, during the running, some players are out in front, and the others are behind, say, close to the ball. Some players are relatively open, and others are being guarded.Then — BOOM — there is a score. That’s usually from just (A) a three point shot or (B) someone who sees a path to the basket, runs, and does a layup — and each of (A) or (B), especially (B) can be from a really fast, smart, good pass.So, the game is mostly just in the darned few seconds from an inbound pass to a score while nearly everyone is still running. So, really, any strategy, tactics, guarding, defensive match ups, etc. are while everyone is in a foot race across the midcourt line.Why so little time in the paint? Because the players are so darned good with three point shots and there is so little time to get either an offense or a defense in place in the paint.It looks like, in two words, it’s a running game. So, there is much less role for a 7 foot center near the basket in defense guarding it and blocking shots or in offense making slam dunks — i.e., by the time a 7 foot defender gets past the midcourt line and in the paint, there is already a score, from a three point shot or a layup.I.e., a seven foot guy spending the whole game running paint to paint is going to have a super tough time out running a lot of 6′-5″ guys running and passing. Tough to run faster than a pass!Sounds like a lot of the players should spend nearly the whole game near the midcourt line, one side or the other, and nearly never get within 15 feet of the basket. So, the offensive players start for their positions even before their team’s inbound pass, maybe even before the other team has scored on their possession.Ah, I didn’t think I’d understand any of it — it’s a too fast, a blur! Fantastic athletes.Gee, score 104-89 in favor of the Warriors: Maybe if I watch the video again I can see where in all that running across the midcourt line there was an explanation for that large difference, 15 points.Is there any short explanation for what the heck is really going on?

  30. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Don’t normally don’t spend much time watching sports (I have my own game to win!), but with Oakland being my hometown, and being very proud of the Warriors, I peeked in for a few minutes of the 4th quarter. Cavs were down 14 points at the time and the Warriors’ bench were giving them a spanking. I told my husband “I can see how this is going to play out” and went back to work upstairs.My first thoughts were that Cavs were pulling from the Warriors’ psychological playbook, holding back, letting Warriors win the first game on their home court, hoping to get their guard down, and study their patterns / responses on tape. The last two years, Warriors came up from behind, then put their all in to the final games. I consider it strategic. Sometimes you lose a battle (or two, or three) to win the war. The three-minute mile came to mind. If you raise the bar and play your best, others will rise to that new expectation. If you know what you’re capable of, and hold back (while practicing the Sun Tzu “know thy enemy”), the other team will be caught off guard when you release all of the tricks in the arsenal.I don’t think what we saw last night is indicative of what’s to come. It is fun fodder for the fans though 😉

    1. Jerome Zanet

      you are absolutely wrong, Mariah. You need to watch more games or just not watch going forward.Here is a GS team that has weathered all kinds of storms in the last two seasons(even the chase to 73-9 was exemplary) and now you have an opponent where the putative best-player-on-the-planet chokes( yes, he passed the ball even when the shot clock is winding down to 0) and makes no attempt to even compete down the stretch.You apply all your Sun Tzu to the games you play. This is Finals and you never learn at the cost of a game.Warriors is a cohesive, resourceful team and is way too better than any or all of the individual talents combined.Too bad to realize you are from Oakland and not understanding the warrior basketball

      1. Mariah Lichtenstern

        I don’t get what you are saying. I was talking about the Cavs not the Dubs.

      2. Mariah Lichtenstern

        Basketball is my favorite sport and has been since Jordan was playing. I used to go to the Dubs games with management box seats and court-side when I was an undergrad and I could see colosseum fireworks from my bedroom window on 62nd Ave. You’ve just proved my point. I watch often enough and I will continue to watch at my discretion, thank you! Lol.

  31. george

    I thought the Cav’s did a nice job of containment, they simply didn’t expect the Warriors bench to have so much impact; I’m sure they will adjust, do better and like you say, make it a series…Would love to see Lebron really impose his will in the 4th quarter, he was too unselfish.

  32. David Carde

    You are kidding yourself if you think this will go 7 games. The Warriors are benefiting from a hard fought series against OKC. And OKC beat San Antonio. The Eastern Conference is just not as tough as the West right now. This will not go to 7 games.

  33. JLM

    .Warriors in a sweep.These two teams know each other. They played for the championship last year.The Warriors elevated their game this season, building on their championship while the Cavs had a whole year to remember they’d been beaten by the same bunch.There is no “psyche” left between these two teams.Lebron and Irving are as potent a duo as ever existed but Steph and his bench own them like rented mules. This is team play v superstar play with the “team” having a superstar of its own.Steph is living — rent free — in the Cav’s head. He is pissing into their cornflakes. He is cool, the Cavs are tools.Warriors in a sweep. Trump in a similar sweep.Winners are winners. Warriors and Trump? WINNERS.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  34. creative group

    Allegedly the reason Peter Thiel bankrolled a lawsuit by Hulk Hogan against Gawker a Facebook strategic partner. Thiel is a paid Facebook board member who represents the interests of shareholders. Bankrolled the lawsuit because Gawker allegedly outed him for being homosexual, gay, etc. (Scratching our head). Which wasn’t news or revelation. Thiel receives compensation from Facebook but doesn’t comingle the funds with his millions. Logical.

  35. Pete Griffiths

    I don’t see it going 7.

  36. hypermark

    I think this series is 4-1 Warriors, possibly 4-2. It’s not about LeBron’s psyche, though there is certainly that undertone. It’s about one team having the mix of players to play multiple styles on BOTH sides of the ball, and one not.If you watched the Thunder series, the Warriors did not find open lanes to the basket. They didn’t get many alley oops, or back cut their way to easy baskets. Numerous times against the Cavs, though, the Warriors had wide lanes, which is a by product of poor individual and team defense. Conversely, the Warriors defense was rock solid.Think of it this way; with Curry and Thompson basically not scoring, the game was pretty much led by the Warriors the whole way, and it was the Warriors bench that busted the game open. The Warriors are deep, disciplined and play both sides.Conversely, the Cavs have to make tradeoffs in their lineups. If they want offense, Love and Irving are great scorers but terrible defenders. If they want defense, Dellavadova and Shumpert are great defenders, but poor scorers.Cavs won’t roll over by any stretch, but the outcome feels clear.

  37. Drew Meyers

    I certainly hope it does go 7, but based on game 1 I don’t see it happening. Cleveland is outmatched.

  38. Miguel Vacas

    I agree this’ll be a great finals! Looking forward to tonight’s game 🙂 Let’s see who’s the better team

  39. Subraya Mallya

    Cavs would be lucky to get one game against Dubs. If they don’t win on Wed then it is broom time. The key for Cavs is managing to get some semblance of defense working. The Warriors seem to get to the basket easily with back cuts and straight up jumpers with no hand to their face. Then there is the 3 Pointers. Cavs cannot defend 1-on-1 or switch as needed.All this with the Splash Brothers being a no show in this series. If they turn up (as they will) then this series won’t go past 4 games