NBA Finals Prediction

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Warriors in 6

I picked this rematch prior to the season.

(I pick LeBron to make the finals every year, it keeps working.)

I picked this rematch prior to the playoffs.

(I was surprised OKC beat the Spurs, its an historic upset.)

Once the Spurs were eliminated, I picked the Warriors to win the title.

I've been writing a version of this same prediction for two years - there's no historical precedent for a team as "bad" as the Cavs beating a team as good as the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Note, the Cavs are pretty good, their 5.45 SRS made them the 4th best team in the league this season; were they to win the title they'd rank somewhere in the middle of the pack for all time NBA Champs (tick below).  They're a reasonable champion.

But the Warriors are an all time great team with an SRS over 10, and never once in NBA history as a team with an SRS over 10 lost in the NBA Finals.

(I used to be able to say a team with an SRS over 10 had never lost in the playoffs except to another team with an SRS over 10, and that had only ever happened once, but the Spurs had an SRS over 10 this season and lost to OKC, who did not.  That tempers the ferocity of my Warriors certainty a little bit.)

So, look, it could be that Cleveland is about to pull an historic upset (and that's what it would be, I know they have LeBron and Love and Kyrie are healthy this year and they're rested and Curry's banged up and the Warriors were just pushed as far as a team could be pushed, but I'm telling you, it would be an historic upset) but you don't pick that way.

A year ago an all time great Warriors team beat a good, but no better than that, Cavs.

I'll say it happens again this year.  Cleveland can score and will score, but that defensive pressure OKC put on the Warriors with Roberson and the ability of Adams and Ibaka to both rebound and challenge outside is absent here.  Cleveland's a three point shooting team.  They'll hit a bunch of them; they may even win a game in Oakland and go up 2-1.

But over a 7 game series between two jump shooting teams, pick the one that might be the best ever.

Warriors in 6.

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