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2016 NBA Championship – Golden State and Cleveland

Warriors and Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championshio
Warriors and Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Championship

The 2016 NBA Championship series sees a rematch between Golden State and Cleveland. It should be an awesome series, as the two best teams in the NBA are poised for a rematch of major proportions. Last year, LeBron James tried to carry the injury-ridden Cavs to the championship on his shoulders. But those shoulders, which are massive, gave out and the Warriors won the 2015 NBA Championship.

As the two teams come into this playoff series, the Warriors are still nursing some wounds. Plus, they had to go the limit against the Oklahoma Thunder, digging their way out of a 3-1 hole, having to win three-straight. Cleveland got to the finals by taking down the Toronto Raptors 4-2.

Golden State and Cleveland Shooting

Stephen Curry is a difference-maker.
Stephen Curry is a difference-maker.

Both teams have great outside shooting. PG Stephen Curry is probably the best of the best as the Warrior has hit 46% of his shots, 41% from the three-point mark and averaged 26.7 PPG. He’s also dished off 6.1 APG. SG Klay Thompson has been averaging 26.2 PPG, being good 45% from the court and 45% from three-point land. Both of these guys are amazing from the free-throw spot, with Curry good 91% and Thompson 88%.

Cleveland has two major talents in PG Kyrie Irving, who’s hitting 48% including 46% from the three-point mark, and SG J.R. Smith who is good 46% of the time from the floor and another 46% from downtown. For the Cavs, Irving’s 24.3 PPG is only second to James who’s better by 0.3 points.

Kevin Love is a major force.
Kevin Love is a major force.

In the playoffs, the Cavs have seen PF Kevin Love hit 88% from the penalty stripe and notch .446 from three-point land. James has been solid from the field, knocking in 56%. But he’s much less effective from the charity stripe and from downtown. For the Warriors, PF Draymond Green has contributed 15.1 PPG while sinking 73% of his frees.

In the Paint

James will try to dominate the paint.
James will try to dominate the paint.

If the Cavs are to have a chance, it’s a given that James has to be huge in the paint for Cleveland. In the playoffs, he’s averaged 8.6 RPG and had 2.21 SPG. The other guys who is essential is power forward Love. Love, who’s had 17.3 PPG, has been averaging 9.6 RPG.

But you’ve got to give Golden State’s Green a lot of respect in the frontcourt. He’s averaging 9.8 RPG and 5.9 APG. Plus, he’s been making 2.06 BPG and notched 1.59 SPG. This is a guy that the Cavs will need to neutralize. But that will not be easy.

Game One Prediction

Green will assert himself.
Green will assert himself.

Do you think the Golden State Warriors will allow the Cleveland Cavaliers to take control in any manner in game one of the 2016 NBA Championship series like they did the Thunder in the conference finals? It’s doubtful. This team will be on full alert and ready to show the Cavs that their two regular season wins were a precursor to this series.

The spread has the Warriors favored by 5.5 and the over/under at 210. Golden State looks good by 7. We also like the over, anticipating a score of around 111-103. Look for defense to be at a minimum in game one with it tightening up in the second contest.

2016 NBA Championship Outcome

In the 2016 NBA Championship series, home court goes to the Golden State Warriors. This is a major advantage in the NBA playoffs, especially in the finals. Despite being healthier than they were last season, and having better chops inside, we still like the Golden State Warriors in seven games. Overall, the Warrior defense and offense is just better by enough to be favored to take this series.

However, if State goes cold from the court and the Cavs can manage to get contributions from a majority of their players, then this can become not just a one-game series, but, also, a series determined by fewer than four points. That’s right, it could be that close. Be careful betting on individual games with the spread. This series will be tricky.


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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