We are going to have an NBA Finals rematch, but it’s not really going to be a rematch.
As we have been clamoring, both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are clashing it out, this time, with a both healthy squads. The real Cavs vs Warriors showdown is about to take place, and it’s going to rain threes.
The Cavs this post season has turned into not just a three point shooting team, but a great one. They are making 43% of their 3 pointers in the post season, created mostly by their ball movement and good spacing. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are shooting it lights out from deep, averaging a combined 44% the entire Playoffs, JR Smith is also putting in 46% of his 3 pointers, and new Cav Channing Frye is blistering hot at 57%. All four combined to make about 10 3PT FG’s per playoff contest.
This is a different Cleveland team. In a funny way, they resemble the Warriors with their new 3 PT barrage. They have been spaced the floor well, allowing LeBron James to do damage in the paint, as he has been, but at the same time, gives him a plethora of weapons surrounding him if the opponents choose to help, and boy are the Cavs making you pay for it.
The Warriors, on the other hand, are still the Warriors. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have shot their way out of a 3-1 hole vs Oklahoma City to reach the Finals again. And while four guys from Cleveland make 10 3’s a game, the Splash Brothers are making 9 per playoff game on their own. And they are doing it, outside of their good ball and player movement, in quite possibly the most inconceivable of ways, shooting it off the dribble, over a defender, or even pulling up from 30 feet.
Collectively, the Dubs are also shooting 40% from 3, making 12 a game. They have been known to be a shooting team, and won last year’s Championship in large part because of it. Don’t expect them to stop raining threes now.
With both teams seems to be lights out on 3’s, the series should probably end up to who can stop the 3’s. Both teams, are allowing their playoff opponents 34% from three points this post season, but the Warriors has the edge in regular season numbers, ranking 2nd in 3PT% allowed at 33% compare to the Cavaliers 12th ranked 3 point defense at 34%. A slight edge, but could swing a difference, as both teams are seemingly reliant on their three point shots lately.
One key thing to keep in mind, offensive rebounding. Offensive rebounds creates extra possessions, in turn could create extra three point shots. Both teams are grabbing 10 O-Rebounds per game, but Cleveland is allowing 3 less for their opponents. Preventing the Warriors from getting more possessions could limit their three point attempts enough for the Cavaliers to take advantage of.
One thing is for certain, as we wait on the Finals we’ve all be clamoring for, expect three point shots, lots of it. As much as Charles Barkley would hate it, this year’s champion will be determined by who can shoot better, and shoot more.
We will have a rainy NBA Finals.