The Cavs have a 60% chance of winning this years NBA title

Why?

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1) No Bogut – Bogut has been cleaning up Draymond’s gaps throughout the playoffs. It not the Green hasn’t been playing well, its just that Bogut makes Green’s defensive assignments easier knowing that there’s someone behind covering well for him.

2) Lebron and his final chance – I don’t like Lebron James. Primadonna etc etc. But he knows very well that with Bogut out, he can inflict as much damage as he can and wear Green out. I have always thought that Lebron will not stay after this year and this is his final chance on the title for the Cavs. I’m still convinced that winning the title would be his best (forgivable) exit strategy.

3)The Warriors are tired – The Cavs breezed through the finals but the Warriors had a very difficult time. The extra games took a lot out of them and being in this stretch with a man down is simply too much.

If the Warriors win it, it would come from the coaching staff. Everyone agrees that   Bogut is irreplaceable. But if the coaching staff prepares the team to make it through the fourth quarter on a close match, then its theirs for the taking. If they won’t, then maybe we can watch Episode 9 of the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

How tanking will affect the NBA Finals

from www2.lvc.edu

Make no mistake about it, it’s the year of the ‘tank’ for the NBA and it ain’t pretty. Watching many teams putting themselves in the position to lose is not fun at all especially for the fans. So before we move on to the topic, let us first define ‘tanking’.

What is tanking?

For those who don’t know, (and yes that’s you my football purist friends and ladies who might have accidentally read my blog) “Tanking” is the colloquial term for intentionally losing games in order to get some advantage in next seasons NBA draft. Since the next draft class is the strongest in recent years, many NBA teams have resorted to tanking this season to have a bigger chance at the first three draft picks.

The Eastern Tankers

from sportslogos.net

Much of the tanking in the NBA now happens in the Eastern Conference where the teams purposely tank or are just too weak to compete.  Lets name the teams shall we? First in the line would be the Philadelphia 76ers, who traded Al Horford & Spencer Hawes this season to be the number one tanking team in the League. Yes the Milwaukee Bucks are the worst team right now but Philly deserves full credit as it traded their franchise players for nothing early this season.  Milwaukee on the distaff, has already been weak since with no effort for the Management to sign stronger players. I even doubt that the eastern playoff contenders would actually want to reach the playoffs with a higher win ratio.

The Western Powers

The West is the exact opposite of the East where you can see the Spurs, OKC, Clips, and  the Rockets dominate the NBA scene. If you compare the east and west standings, the number 3 eastern team is only as good as the West’s 10th seed. That’s how far the competition is on both ends of the United States.  I do not need to expound on how strong this conference is but all potential playoff matchups would be a hit.

So how does it affect the finals?

The disparity is the will mean that, on paper, it will be easier for the eastern powerhouses, Miami and Indiana, to reach the eastern finals unless something catastrophic occurs. This will be good for both teams as they will be able to rest their key players ahead of their crucial matches.  If its a cakewalk in the east, it will be a gladiator battle in the West.  Bad news for the ageing teams like the San Antonio Spurs.  I expect that almost all the series in the West to reach a 6th game, which is good for the fans but bad for the players’ championship ambitions.

In the final itself, a battle-tested west champ will be up against a slightly tested east champion.  The advantage will slightly be on the west champ because only the strongest and deepest teams will win the West.  The only way the easties will win is if they extend the series to seven games and will push the fatigued westies to exhaustion.  This is where the tanking difference would come in.