Cavs vs. Warriors: Individual vs. Team

Although not officially set, it seems a given that the NBA Finals will pit the talented multi-functional Golden State Warriors vs LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers, with each team having a commanding 3-0 series lead over their opponent and the opposition showing little resistant. But if you look at the two teams, the ideology and method of moving onto the NBA’s greatest stage have varied to an extreme degree. Over in Cleveland, we saw the formation of a Big Three behind LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The rest of the team seemed unimportant as they were instantly pegged title favorites. But after limping out to an unimpressive 19-20 start to the season, the Cavs realized that they needed some backup firepower to propel this team to any degree of success. They made multiple mid season acquisitions in Timofey Mozgov, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert that helped the Cavs catch fire and rocket to the second seed in the East and, with the decline of the Hawks, back into the spot for Eastern Conference favorite. However, as they entered the playoffs, disaster struck. Kevin Love was disabled in a brutish attack by Kelly Olynyk in the first round and it looked like the Cavs would be in trouble. But LeBron and Kyrie stepped up to fill the scoring load for the next series against the Bulls until it was revealed Kyrie had been playing on an injured ankle and would miss time. As the Big Three began to diminish, we began to see LeBron take over, willing his team deeper into the playoffs, and taking all responsibilities of scoring on himself. LeBron believes that he is the one who must take his team to the next level. Which is almost exactly the opposite of the Warriors. The Warriors were one of the most cohesive teams, cranking out assists and high percentage shots. Although their clear leader was MVP Steph Curry, the whole team made vast contributions all over to lead the team to a franchise best 67-15 record. Like LeBron, Curry can take over a game and torch the opponents with his vast arsenal, but he also has the ability to pass the torch to a teammate when he recognizes an opportunity. Watch any clip from Klay Thompson’s 37 point quarter, and there Steph is, trying to assist Klay. The Warriors team friendly offense has thrived and annihilated opponents by an average 10.6 points per game, one of the highest of all time. As these teams meet up, we get ready to watch a battle between two philosophies. On the one hand, the Cavs give the ball to LeBron and let him run, while on the other hand, the Warriors as a team work towards their ultimate goal. With the NBA Finals a mere week away, the excitement builds towards what is certain to be a match up no one will soon forget.

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