I’m back with a new segment for your weekends titled “Outrageous Take of the Weekend”. This segment will be where I spew hot takes that none of my friend (s?) will listen to. This week I will be tackling the NBA and who I see coming out of the East and West. Here’s a hint, it won’t be the Golden State Warriors
Lets start with the cold take of the week: The Cleveland Cavaliers will prance through the first three rounds to reach another LeBron NBA finals. Yea, I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb here. Listen, the Toronto Raptors along with the Eastern Conference as a whole are much improved over last season, but there is no chance that the Cavs do not head straight into the finals. The Cavs so far are having no difficulty with the Pistons, and should face almost no issues with the Hawks/Celtics winner. Cleveland is shooting 47% from the floor on the season, good for 5th of all playoff teams. They had the best offensive efficiency of any eastern conference team throughout the regular season at 1.076 and lead the Eastern Conference in scoring margin at +6.1 ppg over the season. The Toronto Raptors haven’t even made the conference finals in their team history. Need we say more? DeRozan and Lowry have proven to be unclutch in the past, including their first round exit last season. If not the Raptors, the Heat could prove to be a potential upset to advance to the finals, but at the end of the day the team relies on Amare Stoudemire and Luo Deng for clutch time minutes. Whiteside has proven to be ineffective using advanced statistics, and Iso-Joe Johnson is and always will be a ball magnet. I don’t see anyone stopping LeBron streamrolling yet again to another NBA Finals.
Sound the alarm!! The San Antonio Spurs will beat the Golden State Warriors in 7 games to advance to the NBA finals. You probably think I am out of my mind for picking against a team that won 73 games, but remember that one loss that really mattered? That one when the Spurs actually played their starters and tried to win the game? Yea, the Spurs can ball when they want to. I know the season series was 3-1 in favor of the Warriors, and one of those was a 30 point Warrior blowout, but Greg Popovich is a much smarter man than you or I. He understands that winning that game against the Warriors towards the end of the season gave his players confidence, and by resting his rotation they will be fresh come playoff time. The Warriors on the other hand labored out of necessity of chasing 73 wins, logging significant time on their key players. Come payoff time, this has to favor the older Spurs.
A big reason why I think the Spurs can take care of the GSW is simply because I think their team top to bottom is more talented. If we throw out each team’s top five (although this does favor the Warriors), the Spurs bench is simply better than the Warrior’s. Going through the benches, the Spurs bring out Patty Mills, Manu, David West, Kevin Martin/Kyle Anderson, and Boris Diaw. That is a legit top five and probably better than over half the league’s top five. The Warriors bring out Livingston, Barbosa, Iggy, McAdoo, and Speights/Ezeli, which is questionable at best. Livingston, Iggy, and Barbosa are legit ballers, but the rest of that bench is lacking. Spurs worked this to their advantage in their win over the Warriors during the regular season, and I expect to see much of the same come playoff matchup time. That is if the Spurs can get past the quickness of the Thunder…
Obviously it is going to be an extremely close matchup, and obviously the Warriors may dominate on their home court, but I don’t see them winning against this improved Spurs team from a year ago. People forget that the Spurs and the Cavs played two fantastic series against this Warriors team. If Irving and Love don’t get hurt, that 2-1 Cavs series lead may have turn into 4. I think Aldridge and Kawhi play lights out, and the Spurs take care of business in 7. You heard it here first. And that is your week’s outrageous take, take that shit to Vegas ASAP.
P.S.- I know that wasn’t the hottest of takes, I’ll make sure to step up the temperature next time.