By now, we all know the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are pretty much the best two teams in all of basketball as they have reached the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season. Thankfully, there have been different outcomes with Golden State winning two of the past three Finals while Cleveland hoisted up their first Larry O’Brien trophy in 2016. However, you might be wondering how this year’s NBA Finals might be different than last year’s? Here are 3 reasons why:
The first reason is seen in the two team’s average age. Cleveland is the oldest team (age-wise) with an average age of 29.5 and Golden State is the third oldest with a 27.94 average. Seeing as how these two teams are two of the oldest, one can see that they are slowing down. They barely squeaked by in their conference finals matchups as both of these teams had to force game sevens to even make it this far, so it may seem that these team’s dynastic eras are coming to a close end.
Another interesting note that is worth paying attention to is about one Stephen Curry. His defensive woes were highlighted in losses as well as many saying he needed to bulk up. At the age of 30, that bulking up ship has sailed for him because if he wanted to do so, or even needed to, he would have done so years ago. was He weighs 190 pounds, which is small.
However, the Davidson product’s game has never been about being a tank or using brute strength to get to the rack like his counterpart LeBron James. It has been about mixing it up with his handle and using his sweet jumper or sneaky speed to get to the rack. Nonetheless, Curry will be fine in this year’s Finals because it will be semi-slower due to the older age of the players as well as the Cavaliers desire to slow it down with their methodical approach.
Unlike in the 2015-2016 season, where the Warriors went 73-9, the Warriors are showing signs of fatigue as they dropped to a 58-24 record in the 2017-2018 NBA season, so they are clearly human. Fatigue and age has been a factor for the defending champions.
Another interesting reason why these Finals will be different is the team composition; the Warriors are a heavily stacked team with names such as Curry, who averages about 25 points per game, Klay Thompson, who scores about 20 points per game, Kevin Durant, who leads the team with 29 points per game, and Draymond Green, who averages close to a triple double.
Meanwhile, for the Cavs, they are led by James who leads the playoffs in scoring with 34 points per game. The next player who follows him up is Kevin Love who cracks about 14 points per game! It appears to be one-sided here mainly because the Golden State are a balanced team where everyone heavily contributes. As for Cleveland, James is making the Cavs look like a one-man team. The Cavaliers simply lack the star power or even the point production to compete with the Warriors as anyone not names James or Love averages less than 10 points. The fans expectations will be lower and quite frankly people are tired of seeing these two teams meet in the Finals.
The last reason why is just plain ole LeBron is playing like a legend. As mentioned before, James’ stats show that his power-house performance is the best on the team and the best in the league. He is leading the playoffs in scoring and is 33 years old. It is no doubt that he will be a future Hall of Famer. At this point, he is merely playing for his legacy and trying to show that he is better than Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
So those are some of the biggest reasons for why this year’s NBA Finals will be different than the last three. Despite them consisting of the same two teams, things are different when you look past the star power.