Blame AAU basketball, blame the one-and-done generation, blame whatever you want, but what cannot be argued is that there is an international wave taking over the NBA. Increasingly it seems like the best and most influential players in the NBA are from countries and regions outside of the U.S.
2018 NBA Finals Preview
The 2018 NBA Finals marks the fourth year in a row the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the pinnacle event of professional basketball. However, this series feels different from the previous three, the Cavs needed the super human efforts of LeBron James to struggle through the Eastern Conference while the conference finals matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors felt more like the NBA Finals than the series the basketball world is about to watch. The story seems set, the over powered Golden State Warriors will take 4 and probably no more than 5 games to conquer the Cleveland Cavaliers. But sports often defy conventional knowledge and here are 5 reasons the Cavaliers could pull off the upset.
1. Andre Igoudala is a bigger part of the series than most would assume. Andre Igoudala is still the Golden State Warrior's best solution to guard LeBron James. Igoudala was named the finals MVP in 2015 for his defensive efforts against LeBron James despite only averaging 16 points and 6 assists a game. With Igoudala missing one and potentially more games, LeBron might be free to dominate the game as he did in the Eastern Conference.
2. The Cavaliers come into the matchup with a whole new roster and that makes the matchup more intriguing. It could be awful but it could be great for the Cavs. The last time the two teams met was on January 16th with the Cavs fielding a starting line-up of LeBron James, Jae Crowder, Kevin Love, Jr Smith and Isaiah Thomas. The NBA is all about matchups and the Cavaliers match up better today than they did in January.
3. The Warriors have struggled this postseason and that gives the Cavaliers a sliver of a chance to win. The Warriors have went cold more often than usual this postseason and this paired with the injury issues they've dealt with over the postseason gives the Cavs the opening they need to make the upset
4. The Cavaliers have zero to lose. No one expects the Cavs to win the series and that will free the players up from the gigantic expectations that come with playing with LeBron James. A team playing with nothing to lose is arguably more dangerous than a team playing with everything to gain. Players like JR Smith, Kevin Love and Tristian Thompson may finally play up to the standards needed to challenge the Golden State Warriors.
5. LeBron James. LeBron James is the fifth and largest reason the Cavs have a chance. When you have the greatest player of all time, anything is possible.
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