Fun Friday: Cavs Warriors

Well we finally got to the matchup that it seems like we have been waiting all season to get to. It really wasn’t even close. These are the best two teams in the NBA by a lot and have been for three years now.

So, who is going to win, in how many games, and why?

I will go out on a limb, like I enjoy doing, and say Cavs in seven because LeBron’s will to win is simply greater than any other person playing basketball right now.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    What’s the origin of the USV team post box?Really like it btw and wondering if this is generalizable so that all of us could cross link in a simple fashion to others.

    1. Nick Grossman

      thanks – it’s an experiment to tie together the thinking / writing of everyone across the team. we will probably also update to include more content from everyone’s blogs too

      1. awaldstein

        experiment now has market proof as I’ve already checked out the others as usually avc is what i hit post my morning writing routine every day.simple is best. usv as a brand matters. this broadens it.

        1. fredwilson


      2. Twain Twain

        Good experiment, cross-pollinating audiences.Each of USV team has different pet subjects and writing styles. Albert seems to be using his blog to prep the prob+stats lessons he’s teaching NYU students and for material to his “World After Capital” book. It’s maybe the most technical and “getting into nitty-gritty” of models which is a good thing.Fred’s is more conversational and mostly his experiences using the tech of USV portfolio companies and getting our inputs on that. Plus, obviously his mania for sports and art. It’s the most well-rounded blog.Yours I’ll try to read more of.I like all sorts of perspectives so I can arrive at my own position.

      3. William Mougayar

        It’s just an RSS widget, no?

        1. Nick Grossman

          yes, basically

  2. kidmercury

    I agree totally with your forecast and rationale. Warriors need Klay to get hot if they want to win

  3. Eric Satz

    Preds in 6

    1. Mike Cautillo

      Pens in 7.

      1. Eric Satz

        No doubt the smart money is with you. Destiny with us!

        1. Mike Cautillo

          I would not be surprised in the least if the Preds won though. Gritty team with a great goalie!! Enjoy!!

    2. JamesHRH

      If Johnanssen was healthy, I would back you. That’s a huge loss.

      1. Eric Satz


  4. apedraza

    Lebron is making everyone around him play the best they ever have, particularly Irving and Love. The guy is an amazing leader, which I think is a quality that is sometimes underappreciated.

    1. fredwilson

      Yuppp. Reminds me of Jordan

      1. pointsnfigures


      2. JamesHRH

        They get the results in such a different way though.

      3. karen_e

        Much to my amazement, I’ve been watching the last few games. My seven-year-old has discovered basketball via LeBron James. He implores me to shoot hoops with him on the weekend, saying, “I have to work on my dream – to play with the NBA.”

        1. JLM

          .Back it up with calculus. Plan BJIMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      4. K_Berger

        Lebron is different than Jordan. He’s better at involving his teammates with the trade off being that he isn’t always the “give me the ball I’m going to win this game” guy that Jordan was.Warriors in 7.

  5. Jonathan Messika

    It’s truly amazing to see how LeBron is getting better with each season. It will be such a joy to watch this series. I’m going with the Cavs as well (in 6) for the same reasons:)

  6. Mike Cautillo

    Cavs in 5.

  7. David Shane

    Warriors in 6. Yes, James is the best, but Warriors want payback and have the team to do it.

  8. Tadashiyara

    Ok, it’s only 4:57AM on the west coast so no Warriors fans are up yet. Fortunately, even though I live in Vermont now, I am still a Warriors fan, having spent 47 years in Silicon Valley. Warriors win, I hope it goes 7. Defensive schemes on LeBron (plus Durant’s scoring cancelling out LeBron’s) and Kyrie and better coaching win, even with Kerr not court side.

  9. Stefano Calderano

    Warriors in 5

  10. Mike Chan

    Cavs in 7. Tempting to put money on it, as they’re a big underdog – +220!

  11. Dale Patterson

    So excited about the Finals. I have the Cavs in 7.

  12. Rob Larson

    Warriors in 6. Lebron is undoubtedly the best player and greatest force in the league, by a significant margin. However, I don’t think the NBA has ever fielded a more talented team than Golden State.

    1. JamesHRH

      Perfect 2 line summary – anyone who doubts The King’s greatness at this point is grinding an axe.What if he had played with this confidence / focus / business-like attitude his entire career? He would have 5 or 6 rings.

      1. Rob Larson

        Yep – took him a few years, but eventually he learned what it takes to win an NBA championship from a mentality standpoint, and has been lights out ever since. It’s amazing to watch him.It’s also amazing to watch the machine of beautiful basketball called the warriors. Going to be a great finals.

  13. aminTorres

    Cavs in 5.The Cavs are overall a better team. The teams have mores tuff in common than difference.Great starting line up, well seasoned bench that can and know how to pick up the slack.The tweaks the Cavs managed to do are really well thought out, Korver is a not only a great 3 point shooter, he is a great defender. Deron W, also has a tested range but knows how to get in the paint and take a hit.The Cavs all make each other better. I am not sure that can be said of the warriors, since the warriors added KD, they’ve kind of “lost” other players. Klay went from being the number 2 man to I dont know what place in the line up. Same for Iguodala who 3 years ago was the final MVP, now I dont even notice him in the game. Will see.

    1. JamesHRH

      KD went to the Dubs b/c of their style of play – they make each other better more than The King make the Cavs better. Their O is more flexible and adaptable, as a system, but both Kyrie & The King can get their shot, moreso than KD & Steph (but not by much).It comes down to D.Liabilities on D – Steph, Love, JR, RJ, Korver, Frye (all the Ws bench players are young and play D, otherwise they don’t have a job next year – its the biggest downside to vets on the bench)Animals on D – Klay, KD, Dray, Iggy, LeBron, ThompsonCan LeBron out D the Ws Big 4?That’s a big ask. Ws in 6.

  14. dineshn72

    Warriors in 5. Remember that with a slightly injured Curry they nearly won 4-1 last year; the roster is way better this year, they are more rested and more hungry to avenge their defeat. They are the number one defensive team for a reason.

    1. JamesHRH

      Cavs have their roles defined and they are fully available. Closer than 5. 6, maybe even 7.

  15. Dan Epstein

    Going out on a limb in the other direction. Warriors in 4. To make up for losing in the finals after setting the regular season record last year, the Warriors go for 16-0 to set the playoff record this year.

    1. fredwilson

      Wow. Sweeping the Cavs would be something

      1. Dan Epstein

        Yeah. We’ll see if they can do it. Excited for the series to start.

  16. Westy Hopkins

    Lebron has to win if he wants to be in the GOAT conversation. Cavs in 7.

  17. jason wright

    so where’s the crypto block connection in this post?

    1. fredwilson

      We all needed a break. Me most of all

      1. jason wright

        yeah, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. take it easy dude.

  18. erik

    I agree CAVs in 7

  19. maxpelle

    I am afraid the Warriors are a better team and KD will make the difference. Warriors in 6

  20. Joe Marchese

    “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan.Warriors in 7… hope it goes 7 no matter who wins… should be a clinic in the power of skill plus commitment.

  21. Stephen DeWitt

    Warriors in 6. If the Warriors make shots and play their game, they’ll win. Has the makings of a classic.

  22. prankeapple

    You’re my favorite VC Fred, but that’s an admittedly low bar because I find most VCs to be retarded. Instead of attending Mougayar’s silly “natural wine tasting event” full of empty suits chasing returns of tech they barely comprehend, you holed up in your penthouse apartment and traded rare pepes. A man after my own heart. Keep doing you, baby.

    1. fredwilson

      I think the wine tasting event was a great idea. Arnold knows a ton about natural wines and he was able to share that with a lot of people who probably don’t know much about them

      1. awaldstein

        We are our passions and the things we do with gusto that don’t pay the bills are formative and critical to who we are.Some tidbits from the party.Never has 100 bottles of interesting wine disappeared with so much gusto into a crowd of 300 in less than two hours.Regardless of audio issues, I worked the room and spoke to probably 50+ people and got to know them. People were inspired. So so much fun.I got no less than 20 emails saying thank you.Day of conference it broke the ice and opened up a slew of connections not just with me but between others to talk not about wine but about why we were there.I think everyone felt great about it. I applaud William for thinking differently honestly!

        1. Pointsandfigures

          Had some organic burgundy in St Barth’s for our anniversary. Might not have thought about it except for Arnold.

        2. Jim Ritchie

          I enjoyed the wine tasting, and being from SF, it was great to taste some wines we don’t normally find in Napa/Sonoma. Went up next morning and thanked Arnold as I know the sound issues were frustrating. Overall, great event, thanks.

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks Jim!I had fun doing this and its a connector that works for me.And a community that is nothing less than a gift.

    2. William Mougayar

      Silly? Cheap shots by anonymous trolls are just that.

      1. prankeapple

        Now that I have your guys’ attention – a couple thoughts from an anonymous troll:1. Coinbase needs to get its act together and improve its systems – the site has a way of constantly crashing during periods of high traffic. How much business has been lost to Poloniex or Kraken because Coinbase was serving more errors than LeBron at the free throw line? There are no excuses for an a16z/usv $100m+ funded company to have regular load-based outages in a world with AWS autoscaling and a microservice-based architecture.I predict Coinbase would unlock an explosion of value (which it would be at the center of) if it created a stablecoin on top of Ethereum that doesn’t rely on some Rube Goldberg-esque pegging scheme collateralized by Eth (like we see with MakerDAO and StabL). Those projects are time bombs just waiting for the George Soros of Ethereum to come along and profit from breaking their pegs. Tether has shown promise as a full reserve stablecoin, but it’s hampered by a lack of adoption and issues with Wells Fargo money wires. Coinbase has two substantial advantages Tether doesn’t: massive brand recognition/popularity, and more importantly, ALL THE KYC/AML PRE-VETTED. Coinbase could become the Federal Reserve of Ethereum. Instead… they’re building Token, a silly messaging app, as if we don’t already have enough of those.The lack of a good stablecoin is a huge barrier to creating financial exchange based smart contracts and projects on the public Ethereum blockchain. The ability to create a decentralized swap or option contract (for example) using a stablecoin instead of a volatile cryptocurrency would be a huge win for everyone involved with Ethereum.2. You guys, the VCs, should help lead the charge in telling engineers and potential entrepreneurs what needs to be built. It’s your job to have an accurate big picture overview of the ecosystem, in order to both invest well and to shepherd the best companies to success. Don’t know what should be built? Ask the guy who wrote the yellow paper – Gavin Wood.3. Warriors in 6.

  23. Matt Kruza

    Cavs in 6. Need to split the first two out there, if so I will feel pretty confident in the city getting a repeat

    1. JamesHRH

      Cavs D can’t hold up this year. Ws in 6.

  24. pointsnfigures

    It goes 7. Dubs have home court. Counts for something. Curry is pretty gritty. Test of wills between him an LeBron. LeBron has more talent.People marvel at the offensive skills of each team, but defense wins championships. I think Golden State wins in 7, but it’s hyper close.

    1. Twain Twain

      THIS: defense wins championships.Just as moats win markets. Look at Google, FB, Amazon et al — LOL.I’ll say Warriors in 6.

  25. ckaplan

    I’m so impressed by LeBron’s longevity and consistency, there’s almost no comparison for him. I love to see him win because, at this point, he’s simply building the public’s argument for him against Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Bird, and Magic. His team is really strong, too — the league’s recent shift to volume 3pt shooting is, I think, better represented on his team now than at any other point in his career. Korver, Smith, Love, Irving, Frye, and Jones make LeBron’s incomparable passing ability and team-orientation even more of an asset.That said, the Warriors are both a better defensive and offensive team. They’re incredibly hard to guard: Defenses can’t commit to double-teaming Curry or Durant without leaving real stars like Green and Thompson open. The Cavs’ defense has been weaker this year than in previous years, which they will feel more acutely in this finals series than before. Curry, Thompson, and Durant are three of the top five best three point shooters in the history of the league by almost any measure. Worse for the Cavs, the Warriors have multiple players (Iguodala, Green, and Durant) who have guarded LeBron with distinction in the playoffs over the last decade and a half. No one can stop LeBron, or even really slow him down much, but I sincerely can’t think of another team with as many legitimate options to put on him as this year’s Warriors. This is a consideration not only because it gives the Warriors options to see what works night-to-night, but it also defends against fatigue.If I had to pick now, it’d be for the Warriors, but it’ll be a fascinating series nonetheless. It’s a shame that so much of the league’s talent has been consolidated among two teams that they’ve collectively lost ONE game in their run to meet one another at the finals. Even so, with so many great players on the court at once, the finals are set up to be like an All-Star Game where people actually care and play their hardest. I hope it goes 7, but I’m picking Warriors in 6.

  26. Evan Van Ness

    Curry in 6

  27. Lawrence Brass

    Link to USV is genius. Couldn’t resist to follow the links, and I obviously had visited Continuations now and again before as other USV related blogs too. But a direct passage from the bar is very convenient.Smart.Like it or not, I behave like a mouse.

    1. Nick Grossman

      awesome, glad you like it!

  28. george

    Warriors in six, KD’s hunger propels them.This is the best of times for pure basketball fans – enjoy!

  29. JamesHRH

    If you assess the series on Driving, D & 3’s, its the W’s to win:Driving – Kyrie, LeBron, Steph & KD are eliteD – Kyrie, LeBron, KD & Dray are elite3s – Klay, KD & Steph are eliteThe wildcard here: LeBron has been an elite 3Baller in the playoffs, Korver, Kyrie & Love (and Dray) are close to elite.So it comes down to performance, coaching and role players.No way the Ws sweep. I will say Ws in 6.

    1. Ben

      James – the Cavs have six players shooting above 40% from 3 in the playoffs. The Warriors have five. Lebron is shooting 42% from 3 and Love is shooting 48%! JR Smith, the perennial wild card, is at 45%. Neither team has the advantage here.Agree with your point on coaching, but Lebron is the ultimate facilitator.Cavs in 7.

      1. JamesHRH

        Your life depends on a wide open 3. Rank these players:- Steph- Klay- KD- Kyrie- Korver- The King- Love- Dray- Iggy- Frye- JRI just ranked ’em & Ws are 1-3. Love & The King are on fire, but its atypical performance. That being said, The King’s release looks way different and by that I mean, cleaner / simpler / better.JR is in the BiPolar Streak Shooting Hall of Fame – he’s option value only, you can’t count on him.Its worth noting that no Cavs bench shooter is Big Shot Bob Horry. Admittedly, he’s in a class by himself, but some dudes hit shots that matter and none of the Cavs vets have that rep (none of the Ws bench vets do either, although that list is a lot shorter…basically just Iggy).

      2. JamesHRH

        Quality of opposition and game situations have inflated the Cavs playoff 3 ball #s.Being up 24 against the Raps does good things for your release.Kyrie, The King, Love……Korver, Frye & JR the other 3?

    2. creative group

      JamesHRH:you the casual fan can out coach T. Lue. He is just awful. LBJ is coaching the team on the court.T. Lue is in charge of timeouts.

      1. JamesHRH

        To be clear, I am much much more than a casual fan 😉

  30. JaredMermey

    Idk who wins but Cavs at +230 (about where it was trading last I checked) feels silly.

  31. Luke Skurman

    Warriors in six. Lebron goes to 3-5 in NBA Finals. Lebron tries to say the Warriors had too much talent and whines about losing … when he was stacked in Miami and went 2-2 in NBA Finals down there.Here’s the problem with Lebron when you see him play, where’s he’s in the groove it literally looks like he could go 40-15-15-4-4 every game. But too often something happens and he becomes crazy passive and does not stay at the same level of effort and effectiveness, it’s so frustrating to watched that. You see this guy so talented and all I can ever feel watching him is that he is not playing his best game, giving it every thing he has (even though he ends up with big numbers – there are these frustrating gaps in his performance). When I watched MJ – he 100% laid it all out there. The fact that MJ went 6-0 in NBA Finals speaks volumes to his will to win. Lebron will never be MJ, not even close. People need to stop with that nonsense. Lebron may end being top 5-10 player ever but def not GOAT.

    1. JamesHRH

      I think they are different people.Jordan a winner, LeBron a controller (big diff). When LeBron feels that he does not have everything the way it should be, he goes passive. Jordan just keeps trying, regardless.The firs question is: has LeBron gathered all the pieces? I don’t think so.The second question is: can he take getting punched in the mouth (i.e., if the Ws hang 130 on them in Game1 and win by 25, will the Cavs fold)?Ws in 6 – too many reliable sources of 3s.

  32. AlexSF

    Even though I’m a homer, I think I can be objective when looking at this series.The Dubs should have won last year’s Finals in 5 games had Draymond not been unfairly suspended (just calling it like it was even though I’m glad for the result as I’m happier having Durant on the team than winning back to back titles) and have improved their center position, forward position and the bench from last year.The Cavs are maybe marginally better this season with the additions of Deron Williams and Kyle Korver who play no D and will be liabilities on the defensive end of the floor. The entire Cavs defense this last half of the season including the playoffs has been below average.Lebron is still Lebron and is amazing but one guy can’t beat an entire group who are playing excellent team basketball, moving the ball and are fantastic on defense.Warriors in 5 as their only problem seems to be keeping their focus when they get bored knowing they are so much better than other teams. They’ll give up one game in Cleveland and close it out at home.

  33. Julian Moncada

    I’d take warriors in 6. The matchups are just so hard for Cleveland. Klay should have a huge series. That said, I’m rooting hard for the Cavs.

  34. creative group

    FRED:No!please root for for the Golden State Warriors. Now the jinks is in.Fred! Fred! Fred!

  35. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:the force of the Sports world meets the casual fan.