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The Starting 5: NBA Finals Preview Edition

The Starting 5: A look at NBA content from around the Internet

1. Zach Lowe’s NBA Finals Preview at Grantland 

This thorough breakdown is very detailed and goes through many speculations as the Finals are approaching. Lowe does a good job analyzing and asserting the strengths and weaknesses of both teams. He brings up a lot, but there are many important things that he acknowledges: Kyrie Irving‘s health, Golden State’s turnover issues and the Cavaliers’ offensive rebounding. Something’s got to give in the Finals, and at the end of the day, Mr. Lowe thinks that the Warriors have a better case to win the Finals, due to the lingering absence of Kevin Love for the Cavs.
TV producer and commercial director Ryan Eytcheson took an old “NBA on NBC” intro for the 2001 NBA Finals and used the Marv Albert voiceover with clips from the current teams in the Finals. In the original, Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers were “David,” and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers were “Goliath.” This reboot was twisted to make Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors “David” and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers “Goliath.” Steph as “David” and LeBron as “Goliath” works in terms of size, but the Warriors are actually the favorite in the series, so it doesn’t QUITE work, but it’s still pretty cool nonetheless.
Bleacher Report Studios feels that the dynasty of the Miami Heat ended during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. This was the game in which the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat at home thanks in part to the air conditioning in San Antonio breaking, forcing LeBron to leave the game with cramps. The Spurs went on to win the Finals in five games. The Heat exhibited that they were extremely dependent on James, and with him on the bench, the Spurs cruised to victory. Interviewed analysts confirmed that this was a freak incident, and likely not a blatant attempt to get an advantage by the Spurs. But despite the fact that the Spurs went on to win the Finals, and James elected to leave Miami and return to Cleveland, deeming this the “derailing of the Heat dynasty” is simply presumptuous. No series is lost in one game, and certainly, no dynasty is lost in one game. The Spurs rightfully won the series and the Heat obviously are worse now without James. But tagging this specific moment the way B/R did is a tad exaggerate.
Scott believes that LeBron isn’t good enough to defeat the Golden State Warriors, and that’s well exhibited in his title for his article. Despite this being another classic example of premature speculation, or a sportswriter simply trying to make a bold prediction, Scott makes an excellent point towards the end of the article. He explains that LeBron is obviously the best player on the planet, while at this point in time, Steph Curry is probably the second. So provided they both play as well as everyone expects, these two players won’t really determine who wins the series, and will sort of cancel each other out. His entire article is built around the Warriors’ supporting cast and their abilities as a defensive unit. He firmly believes that the Warriors with Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are a better supporting cast than what Cleveland has to offer. He sticks to his points and argues them well.
As the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN often is the go-to source for any sports fan on valuable information. Their programs like SportsCenter and a reliable website give them an edge over many other sports media outlets. But often, due to their constant need to provide stories/news, they share things that just aren’t relevant in the slightest way whatsoever. This is one of them. Who cares that Shaq would rather pick Kobe Bryant in his prime over LeBron James in his prime? Does he have a time machine? What reporter was so desperate for a story that they would ask him such an absurd question? It’s just another one of SportsNation’s votes, often meaningless, and a total waste of time.

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