Cavs still face questions about their D


VIDEO: GameTime: Comparing Andrew Bogut and Timofey Mozgov

CLEVELAND — Is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ defense good now?

That may be the most important question heading into The Finals.

The NBA started counting turnovers in 1977. Since then, no team had reached The Finals after ranking as low as 20th in defensive efficiency in the regular season … until now.

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Ranking anywhere outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency is not a good sign for your hopes of winning a championship. Only three teams — the ’01 Lakers (19th), the ’95 Rockets (12th) and ’88 Lakers (11th) – have won the title after ranking outside the top 10 in the last 37 years. And all three had won the championship (with a top-10 defense) the year before.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that the Cavs were a different team after they made some trades and got LeBron James back from his two-week hiatus in mid-January. Iman Shumpert had a shoulder injury when he arrived from New York and played his first game as a Cav on Jan. 23. And yeah, there was clear improvement from that point on.

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With the personnel changes came some alterations to the Cavs’ defensive scheme. Early in the season, they brought their bigs out high to defend pick-and-rolls…

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They changed things up by having Timofey Mozgov hang back at the free-throw line to better protect the rim and reduce the number of 4-on-3, scramble situations that his teammates got caught in…

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But even if you pretend that the season started on Jan. 23, the Cavs still didn’t have a top-10 defense. Furthermore, their DefRtg was somewhat skewed by a relatively soft schedule. Against the league’s best offenses, they weren’t so good.

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March 6, their last regular-season meeting against the Atlanta Hawks, was a good measuring stick for the improved Cavs’ D. And it got chewed apart by the East’s No. 1 seed, which scored 106 points on about 93 possessions. Six days later, in the game that Kyrie Irving scored 57 points, the Spurs scored 125 in what wasn’t a very fast-paced game either.

So the Cavs entered the postseason with some lingering (and serious) questions about their defense, which was, no matter how you looked at it, worse than the (11th-ranked) Miami Heat defense that got eviscerated by the Spurs in last year’s Finals.

Have the Cavs answered those questions?

They’ve held each of their three playoff opponents well under their regular season mark for offensive efficiency. And in that regard, they’ve been better than the Warriors, who had the No. 1 ranked defense in the regular season.

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The Cavs’ defense is definitely improved. Though they’re not a defending champ like the ’01 Lakers, they seemingly knew how to flip the switch once the playoffs began.

There’s been more of a focus on that end of the floor. Multiple efforts from possession to possession have been more common. Losing Kevin Love less than four games into the postseason certainly helped the Cleveland defense, as Tristan Thompson is more active (to put it nicely). Extended minutes for Matthew Dellavedova (with Kyrie Irving hobbled) have helped as well.

The result has been more possessions like this one and this one. The Cavs have allowed less than 91 points per 100 possessions in 215 playoff minutes with James, Mozgov and Shumpert on the floor together.

But just how improved the Cleveland defense is may be more about context than it is about the raw numbers. The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks each had top-10 offenses in the regular season, but it’s hard to say that either were playing anything close to their best basketball when they faced the Cavs.

The Cleveland defense is the only one in the playoffs to have held its opponents under 30 percent from 3-point range or to an effective field goal percentage under 40 percent from outside the paint. While the Cavs’ rim protection has been OK, the numbers point to the perimeter as the biggest reason for them allowing less than a point per possession over 14 games.

But according to SportVU, the Cavs have contested just 29.7 percent of their opponents’ jump shots in the playoffs, a rate which ranks 11th out of 16 teams. Furthermore, the average distance for the closest Cleveland defender on opponent shots in the playoffs is 4.25 feet, a rate which ranks ninth.

Those numbers support the theory that the Cavs faced some good teams that were playing poorly at the time. The Hawks were held well under their regular season offensive efficiency mark in the first round by the Brooklyn Nets, who ranked 24th defensively. Atlanta shot 27 percent on uncontested jumpers in the conference finals, down from 41 percent in the regular season.

So we may not know just how good the Cavs’ defense has become … until Thursday. No team takes advantage of open looks better than the Golden State Warriors, who led the regular season with effective field goal percentage of 54.7 percent on uncontested jumpers, and have led the playoffs with the same exact mark.

The Cavs did hold Golden State under a point per possession in their Feb. 26 win in Cleveland. After starting 3-for-4, Stephen Curry made just two of his last 13 shots. Shumpert seemed to do a solid job on the MVP, who got just six touches and took just two shots in 2:24 of matchup time with Shumpert, according to SportVU.

Putting Shumpert on Curry means putting Irving on somebody else (who could punish him in the low post). It will be a puzzle for Cavs coach David Blatt to deal with throughout The Finals.

The Cavs have made a little history to get here. Now we find out if we can really forget those regular season numbers that told us they would come up short in the playoffs.

87 Comments

  1. Lars says:

    Wow nice play

  2. GSW-in-5 says:

    Golden Warriors in 5 at the oracle, the warriors are far to deadly offensively and have great shut-down defenders. Lebron James and the cavs winning in 6 is a joke the eastern conference is a joke. and its sad that all you think the cavs are gonna win.. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS IN 5 AT THE ORACLE

  3. kobeballhog says:

    The west is such a weak conference. No physical play. Heck the wnba is more physical than the west. At least the east stays true to their root real man defense. Like the detroit pistons. The west is like a bunch of babies throwing 3ball after 3ball.

  4. vern says:

    I have a feeling GSW in 6. Klay Thompson needs to stop with the dumb fouls that have no chance of stopping the basket. I kind of think Cavs defense will let them down. I’m not a fan of either team I just hope it’s a good series to watch.

  5. cdgrinstead says:

    Cavs in 6. If they let it go to Game 7 then the Warriors take it at Oracle. Heard it here first

  6. cdgrinstead says:

    LeBron is on a mission. This is not a reason why the Cavs will win but it is a reason why he will be unstoppable leaving his teammates wide open orbiting around the three point line. Even with great defenders who will close out quickly JR is still a huge threat to hit the big contested shots since he apparently still prefers those for whatever reason and Shumpert has enough playmaking skills to either pump and drive or kick it to the next man. Golden State is a phenomenal team and they have been all year but the NBA playoffs are all about who gets hot at the right time and who can make adjustments to get their stars in position to make an impact. Blatt has been phenomenal at making those adjustments to get LeBron the ball at the right times(save for that one late game situation against the Bulls) and LeBron is no stranger to operating in the pressure cooker that is the NBA Finals. Curry is going to get his and Klay may or may not get his, but you best believe that LeBron is going to get his and Kyrie is most likely going to get a watered down version of his. All in all this should be a very tightly contested series which favors those with more experience. This leads me to believe that the Cavs have the advantage even though they are the underdogs yet again. They will have to wrap this thing up in 6 games or they will not wrap it up at all though. I think they lose if this thing goes to a Game 7 at Oracle. So final verdict is Cavs in 6. Rant Complete.

  7. Arrbac says:

    If talking smack by their fans won championships then the Cavs would easily win. But wait a minute, the last time I checked you have to play the game. Two really good teams. Should be a great series!

  8. SL Cobb says:

    I think the Cavs are, overall, a huge surprise in the making. They, too, have had injuries but continued to improve their play.
    This team has become, in a surprisingly short time, a band of brothers, a true team with everyone having the others back.
    I say bravo LeBron, bravo Blatt, bravo entire group for accomplishing what everyone was so certain would take years. This is a team with heart, and never underestimate that as a true advantage when the going gets tough.

    It is my opinion that this will be one of the most exciting playoffs in a long time. Both teams are where they should be, at the top of their regions. Now we will see who has the greatest will to win what, by the third game, becomes a grind, an exhausting, stressful exercise in stamina and desire to win. I’m putting my bets on the Cavaliers.

  9. Geo says:

    gsw is no super team buit cavs is kinda beaten up too, but bif i should pick I have to go with the most dominant player of the era!!

  10. Jay says:

    So as I read all I see is these big game James post. Well we can have Big game James but if he is the only one that shows up at the end of the day it dosent matter. Lebron can not score 100 points by himself. Kyrie is hurt and god knows who else will even score 10 points outside of them 2 and J.R. Smith. also the Cavs havn’t been tested all postseason so I wonder what’s gonna happen when they actually play a decent team. Will they be like the ’04 Lakers who flew through the West and then was demolished by the Pistons. Or like last years Heat who went through the East relativity easy and then was dismantled by the Spurs. And remember big game James was averaging 35 ppg and they still lost. So LeBRON cant do it all .

  11. BIG-GAME-JAMES-23 says:

    @Jack :

    Exactly! This is LeBron’s time. This ring will mean more than 10 rings in Miami. I like Curry, and he will probably go down as the best shooter of all time one day and GSW will be the new spurs of the West one day. But this is LeBron and the Cavs time to do what he promised he was going to do. I just can’t see LeBron getting this close, and having this opportuntity a year later to be in the finals and compete for a championship. Last year in the finals it was not all LeBron’s fault, his numbers that series speak for themselves, it was the team that did not come through when he needed them, they looked like they gave up. But like you said, if the Heat had won it would have been much harder for LeBron to leave the heat. And when the Cavs win this year with no Kevin Love, and a injured Kyrie Irving, leaving the 2nd best player on the Cavs to be JR smith, then all those old arguments about LeBron can’t win without a superteazm are out of the window, because he single handedly willed this team to where they are at right now. I just feel like the moment will be to big for Curry and Warriors, similar to how OKC choked in 2012 vs the Heat.

    Cavs in 5 or most likely 6!

  12. Thao says:

    It’s so silly to make predictions. If you guess right, you’re a genius.But if you guess wrong,
    you’re a fool. If we know the result, why bother playing the game? I love basketball and
    would love to see every team in the NBA winning the big one at least once before I die.
    For that reason, GO CAVS & GO WARRIORS! Gook luck to you both, and may the best
    team win.

    P.S. One sure fact, both cannot be winners and it’s not shameful for either one to lose. There is
    always hope for the 2016 season, and the next, and the next. and that, my friends is real life.

  13. jack says:

    Yeah GS look like a better deeper team but here’s why Cavs will win it all:
    Stories are written in the stars. Einstein believed in deterministic universe. He said everything that happens and will happen in the future has already been decided before the big bang. So what makes a great story is Lebron leaving Cleveland after years of failure to go learn elsewhere to become a winner. So he comes back to his ppl as an experienced improved leader and brings them a championship they have been craving for so long.
    Heat had to lose they way they did last year for LeBron to go back to Cleveland. If they had won or even lost playing really well LBJ would have stayed with the heat, so all the Heat players missing open shot after open shot except for LeBron was scripted in the stars as well. It was all part of a plan to send Lebron back to Ohio. So in this deterministic universe, the story would make no damn sense if the cavs lose and GS win.
    That’s why cavs will win it this year.
    Book it.

    • romeo says:

      Yeah right… lebron was just as bad as the rest of the heat last year, he only came back because he’s a loser who can’t deal with failure (same reason he left Cleveland to begin with).

  14. MCA says:

    Same applies for the GSW. If they have faced either Spurs or LAC, i don’t think they will be in their position right now.

  15. Isidro says:

    I hope the referee don’t get intimidated in calling fouls against Lebron, when they should. Lebron is kind of bully when he is playing, he doesn’t have that finesse that Jordan used to have when he was a player. The Warriors shows plays clean most of the time. Go Warriors.

  16. BucksFan1978 says:

    It doesnt matter how deep the warriors are as cleveland is pretty deep as well but with more playoff and finals experience. It all comes down to 5 on 5 matchups. Each team can only have 5 players on the court at a time. Cleveland will have the best SF to ever play the game. To offset the dubs mercurial guard the cavs will have kyrie irving who can shoot just as good as curry. Uncle drew is crazy wait nd see. I see this series goin to 6 or 7 though but thats what i said with the gsw vs Houston so i can be wrong

  17. Warren Cobbs says:

    Never under estimate the Heart of a Champion-Cavs in 6.

  18. PJHeard says:

    HEY DUBS FANS HOW ABOUT THIS STAT:

    NO TEAM WITHOUT FINALS EXPERIENCE HAS WON THE FINALS IN THE LAST 25 SEASONS!

    Also the Cavs will have a very significant rebounding edge.

    “NO REBOUNDS, NO RINGS”
    Pat Riley

  19. sally says:

    I don’t know what question mark you are talking about….maybe you have one but Cavs fans don’t have any. They are going to blow the Warriors right off their floor. Not a Problem Folks !!!

  20. Lebron James says:

    Hi guys, enough of the nonsense. Will kick Warriors’ AS~, wait and see.

  21. Amir says:

    Go warriors. They are the more complete team on both sides of the ball

  22. Rich says:

    Cavs in 4.

  23. Tom says:

    Warriors just have way too many weapons for cav to defend, and cav bench isn’t known for defense at all, so advantage warriors,

  24. Tom says:

    To think cav defense will be better than warriors is a joke, we have multiple score and multiple way to get a basket, Jr. smith is bad defender, warriors will take full advantage of him, no one can beat Warriors at Roarcle period, warriors in 5

  25. Tom says:

    Delladova will get destroy by Livingston just not in the same level

  26. Cavs rhymes on reffs says:

    I saw a band on the wagon! Heading from Miami to cleveland! most likely it has arrived! Love seeing all the experts on the internet saying alot of empty and mindless stuff about who is going to win! Enjoy the finals instaed. Make Love, not warriors! Pun intended.

  27. mokmoks says:

    ok fine! i can see you are all geniuses, like you are all NOSTRADAMUS HILARIOUS! lets watch the games and see who among you really saw the future! jeeeez!

  28. Lou says:

    CAVS IN 6

    • C Town says:

      CAVS win 4!! I don’t care if it’s in 4, 5, 6, or 7. We just are going to get 4 WINS!

  29. B Ball Lover says:

    Golden State is going to have their hands full. I believe Cleveland has come to play. It’s going to be an exciting series!!!!

  30. RODERIC TWYMAN says:

    Statistics are for losers
    Let the games begin
    Lebron James is on a mission
    The Cavs will definitely win

  31. Mark from Bay area says:

    Wow,
    Cav’s fans are just Lunatics!!
    Basketball is game of Team Sports!!!
    LeBron is not the medicine for all your mental diseases!!
    We have seen LeBron’s Miami Heats fall down to Spur’s Team work!!
    I respect LeBron so much, but please keep in mind that Basketball is team sports, and it takes 5 guys to play the game.

    END of Discussion!

  32. asa says:

    Cavs D have been good, but I think their rating is some what fake, they played the Celtics and the bulls in their first 2 series, those aren’t great offensive teams, they dared Atlanta to beat them with jumpers which worked out great for them, but that wont cut it With golden state, They gonna have big problems with curry and thompson in this series, they can’t hide Irving anymore either.

  33. Sam says:

    Americans – always lost in the Stats mire.

    Why not just enjoy the game!!

  34. these are the LAMEST arguments for a cavs win — seriously. I picked the cars to get to finals this year…but they’re not beating the Dubs. Sorry kids. your love for the cars has overruled logic. Cavs swept a beat up Hawks team (how many key players were they down? 4? 5?) and now they’re world champs? Look for the healthy Dubs, with home court, to spank the cavs in 5. Sorry LBJisn’t enough. Warriors are FAR deeper, far better defensively and far more efficient offensively — hell the cars wouldn’t have beaten Houston, Memphis, OR the clippers in the west. Come on now y’all.

  35. NBA follower SPURS fan says:

    Regardless of what the stats says, it will all come down to who wants it more. My fearless forecast: Cavs in 6. Let the games begin!

  36. jake s. says:

    You never see this many replies from a Cavs article… must be some reason for that this season. Anywho… the Cavs were thrown together and hodgepodged their way through a weak eastern conference. Their flaws will finally come to fruition.

  37. Jamal says:

    Is it just me or do some of you this that Offensive and Defensive Efficiency Rating is pretty dumb? Really they are measuring how much you score or give up every 100 possessions? How does that equate to an actual game where you may not have 100 possessions? So do they carry over to the next game’s possessions until they reach 100? What happened to scoring and points allowed PER Game? Isn’t that a more telling stat? Some games may be played in a fast pace and some in a slow pace. For the year the Warriors give up 99.93 point PER game. That’s a true depiction of how they look defensively, I honestly think some of these people come up with stats like this one just so they can make a ton of money and no one is able to truly explain it. SMH…..

    • taekayo says:

      Well, what you’ve said actually makes sense why they do it in every 100 possessions. Since there are fast-paced teams and slow-paced teams, the best thing to translate it in stats is to find that common denominator (that is every 100 possessions). They make calculations as to each teams’ offensive and defensive efficiency if they had the same number of possessions.

      Lets make it into simple math for you to have a better picture: If CLE for example shoots 20 attempts per game (let’s keep the numbers small shall we?) and makes 11 of them, while GS (just an example OK) takes 50 and makes 27, the best way for you to compare them is to find a common denominator for both. Now, if we make it into 100 shot attempts for CLE, that’s 55 made baskets, while every 100 attempts for GS has 52 field goals. I hope you do get that simple fraction.

      Though the formula they’ve had is way complicated than the example above, it basically runs on the same principle of just using basic math. Since every team has its own pace, and every team affect each other while playing, the best way to measure this is to do what Mr. Schumman is doing. If this is just a money making scheme, this trend should’ve died easily years ago and teams won’t give a s#it of what it means.

      I am not a big fan of stats, because it still misses out on a lot of things, and it makes the game kind of boring (sorry Mr. Schumman). But I do understand what it is about, and its “possible” practical use. As they say, people are afraid of what they are ignorant of.

  38. hartebeest91 says:

    bring it on CAVS fans…

  39. lito a says:

    i just dont know more about stats , but as i have seen the play offs , the Cavs displayed an extra ordinary Defensive strategies to their play off opponents , again i dont know how to evaluate stats and i am not a cavs fan at all but i am a huge fan of james and Curry but there not the only one playing on the floor , you have also to consider their paly mates on how well they perform as ive seen james playmates are better than curry’s play mates and the only thing that can make them win , its not a story of bigger teams on the west or the weak team on the east it is just a part of a story and counting the days now , stories fallen short .

    • Aaron says:

      Who on the Cavs do you consider better than their matchup on the Warriors, other than LeBron?

  40. rj says:

    M. Dellavedova will break Steph shooting hand.. lol

  41. NBAfan says:

    Warriors have two players from the All-Defensive teams (could’ve had more) and by the voting, the best starting PF/C combo on defense in the league this season, big reason why they are statistically regarded as the best team since the 96 Bulls.

    This article exposes the weaker teams in the east the Cavs had to get through and that they weren’t playing at their best either, really the Cav’s are an offensive powerhouse when fully healthy but their defense as a whole isn’t elite its just average.

    In some fans minds.. I’m not sure in which fantasy league, the Mozgov, Shumpert and Smith trades have suddenly, magically made the Cavs the leagues best defense!!

  42. Paul says:

    Defense/Offense, don’t matter in this Finals. The Cavs need to cash-in on LBJ’s experience having been there for 5th consecutive year and hope the DUBS will self destruct on an inexperienced youngsters, except for Kerr of course-who is also not playing the game. Other than that, Warriors in SEVEN.

  43. Steven says:

    Iman Shumpert has played pretty good defensive on Curry but of course your not going stop him but you can slow him down to a certain point being he does take a lot of jump shoots, plus Iman Shumpert and James are two of top perimeter defenders… What’s that saying they always say live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot, the warriors do take a lot of them… Just look at the last series with the Rockets they don’t play good defensive and they had a chance to win any of those games that they only lost by a few points except the last game where they kinda got blown out but again Harden was off again on his shooting, but if they where a better defensive team I think the series would had went 6 or 7… WARRIORS in 4 or 5 games I just don’t see it being the Cavs have better defensive players that go all out unlike the team the Warriors faced last series…

    • Jake says:

      Gasol, Tony Allen, Randolph, and Conely are a way better defensive team than the cavs, don’t fool your selves guys. The Warriors had a much tougher road in the playoffs. Do you guys realize the Warriors have now faced the All NBA’S 1ST Team in the Playoffs, thats never happen before in the History Of the Playoffs. Anthony Davis soon to be best player in the NBA, Marc Gasol, Harden, and now Lebron James. In the Playoffs there was just one game where weve seen the true Warriors the fans have come a custom to seeing that was the 35 point shalacking we put on the Rockets in there arena in game 3. I’m not saying we will destroy the Cavs by any means they’ve got the best basketball player on the planet. I think it goes 7 games because the NBA will make sure it happens. Fouls will be the key to this series Cavs will get them and the Warriors wont. Steph gets murdered every series and hardly gets to the line.

  44. michael says:

    Cavs in game 4 or 5, steph curry and gswits gonna be like lebron in 2007 sweep by spurs the pressure in nba finals is different and none of gsw been there before.

  45. BillCollector1999 says:

    Keep sleeping on the CAVS
    Im proud of what they’ve accomplished! now finish the game lebron

  46. CLIFF CRISTOBAL says:

    WARRIORS at 5

  47. harriethehawk says:

    JR Smith and Iman Shumpert are key and have not disappointed the Cadavaliers so far. But the Golden Flake Warriors, to me are the better team. But then again, there is Lebron James, the best player in the NBA. I really don’t know who will win!!!!

  48. martinrterry says:

    The only defense that matters is the defense that is going to be thrown at the Warriors this series. The Cavs have already shown that they are one of couple of teams who can take Steph Curry out of the game: you cant fully STOP a great offensive threat like Steph, but you can LIMIT him greatly.

    We will see how Steph is shooting with a 6 foot 8 275 man on him in LeBron James, hounding him relentlessly on key possessions. We will see how he reacts to having Iman Shumphert and JR Smith run at him from time to time and stick to him like white on rice on every possession. Steph and Klay are NOT going to get the same open looks they have gotten against lesser defenses. Mosgov allows Cleveland to not have to cheat on pick and rolls as he is s legit shot blocker and rim protector.

    The question is: who on the Warriors are going to stop LeBron, Jr Smith, and Kyrie (even if not 100 percent) who is going to stop LeBron’s drive and kick game….it will pick your poison for the Warriors. LeBron will score 40 points per game while playing lock down, lights out defense, or he will score 30 points per game while kicking it to open shooters while Golden State is forced to double and triple team him.

    Golden State is an incredible team but they do not have LeBron James and they will not be able to keep Tristan Thompson, the second coming of Dennis Rodman but not as volatile and crazy, off of the offensive boards.

    Cleveland will grind down Golden State and win games in the high 90s and low 100s. These games are not going to be 120-115 Western Conference shooting contests, and that is why Cleveland will close out at home in game 6.

    The End.

    • taekayo says:

      Or…

      Though the Cavs have LBJ, fighting against the West (or Golden State) would still be a different story as compared to getting their East crown.

      While its true that LBJ is virtually unstoppable, GS has enough bodies to make him less efficient as he was. With Iggy, Barnes, Green (and probably Lee, just to foul LBJ LOL), the team’s target is to just probably slow him down or tire him the entire series. We could say that Harden has a better support team than LBJ, but those turnovers forced by GS really hurt the Rockets especially when the offense goes Harden-centric. Irving probably is one of the best PGs there is, but we know Cavs’ offense run through James. The more the Cavs depend on LBJ to carry his team, the better the chances for GS to lock their D on him. The series could really favor Cleveland if JR catch fire every game and Thompson can get his looks inside. But the GS defense would probably avoid that from happening. They don’t deserve being no. 1 in D for nothing.

      As the playoff run went on for GS, the team’s other players have started to gain confidence to contribute to their offense. Klay wasn’t even Klay against Houston. Shumpert would probably chase Steph around, while LBJ or JR would take care of Klay. But if GS continues to get contributions in offense from Barnes, Iggy, Green, Bogut and the rest of the guys, they do have shot of winning it all.

      The Warriors already have faced a grind-out team in Memphis, and still managed to win with their style of play. The Cavs might have run over a team-oriented opponent in Atlanta, but the Hawks don’t have any freakishly gifted player to carry their team if needed. The biggest question in the series is how much LBJ can will his team to win. He is a different monster (and definitely a better one) as compared to Harden. But would it be like last year’s Finals, where carrying the whole Heat isn’t enough to beat the Spurs?

    • Tom says:

      You think green, Igudola and Barnes can’t defend James, I am sorry, you underestimate the rebounding of the warriors, we have multiple guys can defense and rebound, green, Bogut, Klay , Barnes, even curry can rebound, we out score and outrebound every team in the playoff except maybe Memhis. Thompson will be non factor

    • Jake says:

      Im sorry they wont have

    • Jake says:

      I’m sorry they wont have LBJ on Steph all the time Lebron wont have anything left on the offensive side of the ball and thats where they need him. Steph will get his and Lebron will get his thats a guarantee the key is who has a DEEPER team and I’m sure thats the Warriors bar none. There 2nd team comes in and actually adds to leads or shrinks the leads other teams have. Warriors in 7

  49. pssst says:

    LOL! I can’t imagine Cavs winning a championship right now. It will be Warriors in 4 games. Cavs is a good team but can’t possibly beat a super team like the Warriors. Cavs are just lucky that they are in the East. Western teams are beasts and the Warriors are too much for them, if K-Love was there they “might” beat them but it is still a very long shot. Golden State Warriors are gonna win this year’s NBA championship period

  50. rico says:

    Why does everyone think the Cavs are going to win still?? They have one guy who can kind of guard Curry and Golden State has at least 3 guys who can cover LeBron fairly well. Their going to have to focus too much on Curry. Thompson and Green and Barnes and Bogut are going to go to town. LeBron is human and he’s 30. He can’t do everything. Kyrie can’t guard a shopping mall. There I said it.

  51. Johnson says:

    LeBron can not loose two championship games in a row. That should worry the GSW.

  52. Luiz says:

    Can’t understand people who think that the Cavs got a real chance to beat the Warriors.

    • Shon D says:

      My thing is who on the Warriors can stop Lebron? No one .. If Lebron do curry how he did rose when he won the MVP what can u do. 6’8 250 with the agility of a guard… Also curry hasn’t had anyone to tire him on the offensive end like Kyrie Irving will at 85% or better … Now having to guard the best offensive pg in the league and having the best player defending you will take a lot out of a player… U slow curry down golden state will freeze up cavs in 6

  53. Steven says:

    Am looking at Stephen Curry is the one the Cavs gotta slow down just a little and Iman Shumpert has done a decent job of that plus Kyrie Irving will be guarding him to but you can also put LeBron James on him for little bit here and there.. If you look at Curry numbers in the past few series they been good but yet there were quite a few close games that they almost lost, so if the Cavs can hold Curry down a few points in the series that’s a big plus for the Cavs being Clay numbers at times are inconsistent so your not sure what your going get unlike Curry…

    • Jamal says:

      So who has the Warriors beaten in the playoffs? A young Pelicans team, who should have won 3 of those games if they had a better coach, a Memphis team with no Conley or Allen and a Houston team with a one trick pony in Harden. Harden is a really good player but he does not make his teammates better. They didn’t have to play the Spurs – best defensive team (Kawai could shut down Thompson or Curry), no Clippers – Griffin and Jordan down low would have given them nightmares. They really haven’t played anyone to challenge them until now.

      The difference between the East and the West is that most Good teams in the East play defense. The West plays more uptempo. If you look at points allowed per game for the Warriors there defense isn’t that good. They give up 99.97 points per game. Don’t understand how that equates into the best Defensive Efficiency????

      • Jake says:

        #1 IN OPP FG%
        #5 IN OPP 3PT%
        #3 IN OPP TURNOVERS
        #2 IN BLOCKS
        #4 IN STEALS

        This means we have a great Defensive team don’t fool your self.

  54. Mitra says:

    One of the main reasons for poor offensive performance of Bulls and Hawks against Cavs in semi-final and final respectively is Cavs’ extraordinary defense that put so much pressure on those two teams that they perhaps forgot to play their own games.

    Most credit should go to LBJ and his teammates. It is absolutely amazing to see how LBJ elevates a place wherever he goes.

    Look at Miami now! Think about Cavs’ performance over the last four years!

    This team is on roll right now, and is very adept to make adjustments because they have the world’s best player in their roster.

    • Kila says:

      Look at Miami now, Bosh out for the season and Wade a shell of himself. Exactly the reason Lebron came back to Cleveland because he knows that he’s got the opportunity to play with young stars in a confrence with no real competition.

      • Just a FAN says:

        hate all you want, you guys love to make reasons at all, (weak east, nba rigged, blame refs, etc.) i wanna see you guys after the finals and im starting predicting what will be your reason if this overrated GSW blew it 🙂

  55. z. woods says:

    Golden St. didn’t win all those games by accident. Cleveland hasn’t faced a team like them yet and they have multiple people that make a difference besides Curry. Clay, Greene, Iggy, Barnes, Barbosa, Livingston all make big contributions to this team. Cleveland better hope their role players show up

    • Just a FAN says:

      so you mean cleveland beat chicago 4-2 and rekt hawks 4-0 by accident? LOL too much hate bruh? let me guess your team is gone fishin now you jump to another team for the sake of your HATE. LOL

  56. JoeB says:

    Can’t wait for the Finals to start and debunk the theory that is being presented here.
    Seems that the CAVs are always lacking in something but come Finals let’s see what happens.

    Go CAVS

  57. many says:

    People say the East is too weak but for last 3 season the west finalists (OKC and Spurs) lost an average of 4 games in the west playoffs

    • Just a FAN says:

      they said EAST IS WEAK, but miami won 2 of 4 on that finals, beating OKC and spurs, i dunno bruh maybe a REAL hate or just BLIND ignorant about basketball

      • C Town says:

        What was Cleveland’s record against the West compared to GSWarriors against the East? Does anyone know off hand?

  58. Houston Fan says:

    East is too weak, regular season numbers aren’t good, their opponents didn’t play up to standard, blah blah blah… I guess there’s never a way to please haters. Most of these stats were recorded with an entirely different line-up and the same writer that said uncontested shots doesn’t mean comfort/rhythm shots during Hawks Wizards series is now saying that it’s all underperformance no Credit for You! To take the other side of the underperformance argument, I could also say that Warriors over performed since their regular season 3 point numbers aren’t as good as now.

  59. Romy A. Cator says:

    The GSW is in for a big surprise. Cavaliers’ big D will be the big factor in the Finals Championship. Cavaliers big D will make them defeat the Warriors in 5 or 6.

  60. Ryan Patterson says:

    The Cavs need everyone to help out on D if they want to win, but let’s be honest, it’s all about LeBron James: http://thecollegetailgate.com/2015/05/31/appreciate-lebron-james-can/

  61. Shamir Coll says:

    Good teams that have played poorly? Awful…article. Cleveland Cavs 2015 Eastern Conference Champions hate it or love it. More than likely Cavs in the finals the next 5 years at least. Golden State is a weak-young team (like OKC in 2012-13). Bout to get swept by grown men in Cleveland

  62. BIG-GAME-JAMES-23 says:

    With Tristan Thompson taking Love’s spot as PF it has made the Cavaliers a much better and tougher team defensively, something that GSW lacks. Cleveland is the overall tougher team. Its going to be hard for a jump shooting team like the Warriors to win a championship. I think Houston made GSW look a lot better because Houston doesn’t play defence, the Cavs are going to be swarming Curry and trapping him as soon as he steps over the half-court line if they have to. And if Klay Thompson has one off night then the Warriors are in trouble.

    Cavs in 6. Cavs will take the first game and all the pressure will be on GSW for the rest of the series. LeBron is not letting this championship get away from him. Period.

  63. ArvinPH says:

    Its lebron era. We cavs win these year. I tattooed my back of larry o brien trophy . Enuf said. Just sayin