With the 2017 NBA Finals tipping off Thursday, the NBA experts are making NBA Finals predictions…and it’s not looking good for the Cavaliers.
Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated, Warriors in 5
Lee Jenkins, a name most Clevelandanders will remember for writing LeBron’s coming home letter, picked Golden State to win in five games.
"“The Cavaliers are almost as prolific as the Warriors, with all those stretchy snipers spaced around LeBron James, and they will need to be as comfortable at Oracle Arena as they were at TD Garden. If the Cavs can somehow swipe Game 1, Kevin Durant will come under a kind of pressure he’s never faced before,” Jenkins wrote."
Jenkins ended his blurb by by writing if the Warriors play well, they’ll win, and that for the Cavs to have as hot, LeBron James would have to be superhuman.
It might sound crazy, but Jenkins should know James better than anybody. He channelled his superhuman powers last season, when the Warriors were on their way to becoming the greatest team ever built. It’s not unreasonable to think James can’t do it again.
Remember, LeBron’s actions during the regular season didn’t exactly scream “sense of urgency.” He can flip the switch and make our jaws drop in awe.
Charles Barkley TNT, Cavaliers in 6
When Charles Barkley gives an opinion about anything, it usually makes news, so when the NBA Hall of Famer made it his Finals prediction, you better believe it riled some people up.
Barkley picked the Cavs in six based off the logic that LeBorn James and Kyrie Irving will cancel out Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
And what about that other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson?
Barkley says he isn’t a factor because Durant’s presence doesn’t allow him to get into a rhythm.
Let’s hope he’s right!
Sam Amick, USA Today, Warriors in 6
"“This time around, everyone other than Kerr is healthy. Acting coach Mike Brown is undefeated in the playoffs, Curry, Green and Kevin Durant are playing at their peak, while Klay Thompson is the slumping shooter who’s surely about to blow his top any minute now. The greatness of LeBron James, the continued ascension of Kyrie Irving and the better-than-ever comfort level of Kevin Love will be enough to help the Cavs put up a good fight, but this Warriors group is just too good to be beat.”"
The “Warriors in six” pick seems weak. OK, Sam, if the Warriors are going to win this thing and they’re so great, why won’t they win in four or five.
Stephen A. Smith, ESPN, Warriors in 7
OK, so he’s moe of a bloviator than an “expert,” but you’ve got to see who Smith is picking because he’s got a pretty good track record of getting picks wrong.
Smith picked the Warriors to win it all.
This is great news for Cleveland, because Smith has gotten every Finals pick wrong since 2011, according to awful announcing.
It’s been a rough year for the analytics guru Nate Silver. His website whiffed on last season’s Finals and then it blew the election.
Fivethirtyeight.com’s ELO rating gives the Warriors a 90 percent chance to win the Finals, and an 83 percent chance to win Game 1.