We are closing in on what promises to be a very good NBA Finals. Depending on your viewpoint, you will either love LeBron and be backing him and his Cavs or you will be desperate to see him lose. You'll either be on the fast-paced Warriors' bandwagon or waiting for the clock to strike midnight. With two teams this high-profile, and two very different MVPs at the helm of them, it's easy to take one side or the other.
We've already looked at four good reasons to bet on the Cavaliers . Now it is time to turn the tables. Here are four good reasons to bet on Golden State - even if their -190 series price at Bovada isn't immediately attractive:
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Curry: It's hard to believe now that many people were unsure of whether Curry's incredible college game would translate to the pros. So many other college superstars haven't made the leap, but Curry certainly has. As good as he has been all year - and as MVP he was obviously pretty good - these playoffs have shown us a whole new element to him. His incredible desire to win, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get that win, is characteristic of the true greats in this league. Curry has unquestionably shown that he fits in the conversation with the best in the way he has handled himself in these playoffs. The higher the stakes, the bigger his game. The stakes don't get any bigger than this. You also know that he is going to be very motivated to put LeBron in his place - not because of any personal beef but because James is the best, and Curry wants nothing more than to beat the best. James has a big edge in experience, but Curry is his equal in swagger and has the better team behind him. Having the little guy on your side isn't a bad thing for bettors.
Coaching edge: There are two first-year coaches here - remarkable in and of itself. That, though, is really where the similarities end. Steve Kerr has proven to be a truly remarkable coach. He is tactically excellent and clearly has full command of his team. He has coached one of the great all-time seasons by any coach - never mind by a first-timer. He also has all sorts of finals experience as a player, so he will be very comfortable here. David Blatt is really none of those things. He has plenty of coaching experience but has never played or coached in the NBA before this year, so this is new to him. We don't truly know how good he is tactically, because when the chips are down he seems to get pushed out of the way by LeBron. He has led his team to the finals in his first season, and yet it would be far from shocking to hear he had been replaced after the season. How bizarre is that? Kerr has a massive, dramatic advantage here.
Seasoning: What have the Cavs had to overcome to get here? They beat a Boston team that was just happy to make the postseason. The Celtics worked hard and made it interesting, but were no match for the Cavs. They beat a good Chicago team but one that was distracted by front office drama. Then they beat an Atlanta team that was hit so hard by injuries that they were almost unrecognizable. They have had as smooth a path to the finals as a team can expect to have. The story for the Warriors has been different. They opened against Anthony Davis and his Pelicans. New Orleans wasn't ready for the big stage yet, but they still gave Golden State a good fight. Then they had to face a very good Memphis team, and they overcome some real adversity to win that series. Next up was a Houston team led by another MVP candidate. The Rockets were very good in the series - at least until the final game. Golden State has played only one more game than the Cavs, but they have played a much higher general level of competition and have faced more adversity along the way. That seasoning can only help them here - especially since they have had plenty of rest coming into this series to get right physically.
Defense: While the Cavs have improved defensively in these playoffs, they still haven't been performing near the level of the Warriors. That provides a big edge for Golden State here. The Warriors change defensive assignments as often as most people blink their eyes, and that makes them very frustrating to play against. The team is fearlessly creative on defense and uses players - like Andrew Bogut - in ways other teams wouldn't have dreamed of. Cleveland isn't necessarily the most flexible offensive team in the league, so they could have some long nights against the Warriors. This is the biggest single reason I expect the Warriors to win it in no more than six.
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