Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
Last year, the Warriors made the infamous move to bench Andrew Bogut and start Andre Iguodala. It helped Golden State win the series, and inspired a move that led to much success the following season. That change led to the creation of the “Death Lineup”.
It was Golden State’s go-to in crunch time this season. It most definitely helped them win 73 games.
And now, the Warriors find themselves against the team that inspired that lineup. The difference is nothing needs to change this time.
The Warriors have to go with the Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson-Harrison Barnes-Andre Iguodala-Draymond Green lineup in this series. Its necessary to stop Lebron James. Things could get ugly if Harrison Barnes is forced to guard Lebron. We found that out when Golden State was down 2-1 last year.
Starting Barnes is something many are going to ponder, as he didn’t start in Game 7 against the Thunder. But that was a different series. The Warriors needed a little bit more size to beat Oklahoma City. In this series, they need defense.
With that lineup playing the majority of minutes, the Warriors should be in good shape. Here’s what can happen if they don’t use it…
We know Lebron can win a series by himself. Without good defense containing him, and Kyrie Irving being able to do his thing, (Steph isn’t a bad defender, but he isn’t great.) the Cavaliers have a shot at this series. It hinges on Golden State being illogical, which isn’t likely to happen.
This is not going to be Kevin Love’s series. We’ve said that a lot this postseason. Too much. Its one of few remaining reasons why Love doesn’t fit with the Cavaliers.
Taking away Love shouldn’t be a huge deal. We know the Cavaliers can win without him (Yet another reason.). I think Draymond Green is back in this series. He’s going to check himself back in. And if I’m the Cavaliers, I’m very afraid of that.
Andrew Bogut’s minutes are going to be limited if the Warriors do the right thing, but no matter what, the matchup at center is an underwhelming one. It doesn’t feel like either of these guys, Bogut and Tristan Thompson, are going to be big contributions in this series. The small ball takeover is going to show it’s ultimate wrath throughout this one.
The Cavaliers defense is a big X-Factor in this series. Golden State’s offense has had it’s issues this postseason, but this is a fresh start against a worse team. The Warriors play drastically different from Cleveland. Fast, passing-oriented, and lights-out shooting. The Cavaliers love to isolate their guys and let them take bad shots.
Its hard to see the Cavaliers stopping the Warriors’ offense. They’re not very long or quick. Its just a really bad matchup for Cleveland. This has never been a good defensive team. How does anyone think they’re going to stop one of the best offenses in the NBA?
Iguodala’s defense may be what decides this series. If he can’t contain Lebron, then the Cavaliers can easily win this series. But Iggy had such a good finish to the West Finals. I think that will carry over, and he’ll contain him. If I’m the Warriors, I like my chances of the Splash Brothers+Draymond Green against Kyrie Irving.
Pick: Warriors in 6