The inevitable Cavs-Warriors Finals matchup is here at last. Will it be another seven-game classic like last year’s, or will one team dominate? Our staff thinks they have the answers. Here are their predictions:
Warriors in 4
Sean Fennessey: Excellence can never be boring.
Jack McCluskey: Warriors sweep, with KD playing LeBron to a standstill and the Steph-Klay-Dray trifecta outplaying the Kyrie-Love duo.
Riley McAtee: This anticlimactic season deserves an anticlimactic end.
Matt Gothard: Almost a sweep last year. Kevin Durant is going to be too much.
Warriors in 5
Danny Chau: LeBron is the ultimate queen on the chess board, but when you’re playing the Warriors, you’re playing checkers.
Jason Concepcion: Cavs shock GSW in game 1. Curry never has a standout game.
Chris Ryan: Not even Mike Brown could screw this up.
Sean Yoo: It’s what would’ve happened last year if Draymond didn’t get suspended. I highly doubt he’ll make the same mistake this year.
Chris Almeida: LeBron is too good now to get swept.
Warriors in 6
Jonathan Tjarks: I think they are the better team, but LeBron is worth at least one game and the Warriors’ centers will cost them another.
Haley O’Shaughnessy: Though it feels filthy to pick against LeBron after last year.
Rodger Sherman: It took an unlikely feat of superhuman proportions for LeBron to win last year’s Finals. I doubt he can do it twice, especially with the whole "Warriors adding Kevin Durant" thing.
Zach Kram: But the Cavs take Game 1 like the Spurs should have done, and everyone overreacts for a few days first.
Matt James: A suspension, a crisis of coaching faith surrounding Mike Brown’s late-game decisions, and of course … a catfish thrown onto the court.
Warriors in 7
Rubie Edmondson: Warriors will go up 3–1 then win the series in Game 7, because sports narratives are preordained and time is a flat circle.
Cavaliers in 4
Donnie Kwak: I watch hockey.
Jason Gallagher: Draymond and KD get into it following Game 2 after losing at home. Rumors swirl. Russ snaps a photo of himself with a sly grin wearing a T-shirt that says "Bank on Karma" and everyone loses their mind. LeBron is named Finals MVP.
Cavaliers in 6
Juliet Litman: I’m sticking with Cavs in 6 and I say it knowing that the Cavs went to a Future concert together while the Warriors were dispersed.
Nicole Bae: Because LeBron freaking James (but only if everything is OK on the Kardashian front).
Michael Baumann: I’ve got no rational reason to think this but for three weeks I’ve been sitting on a world-alteringly great five-level Galactic Brain Meme that works only if Cleveland wins the title.
Cavaliers in 7
Micah Peters: I’m petty and don’t want Kevin Durant to find validation. At least not this year.
Ryan O’Hanlon: I’m not a contrarian. I’m just siding with the greatest basketball player of all time.
Paolo Uggetti: KD, Steph, and the Warriors are only getting better from here. This is LeBron’s last best shot, and he’s the most accurate marksman in the league.
Christian Robinson: The Warriors will blow two close games due to their smugness.
Collin Orcutt: Sure the Warriors added KD, but the Cavs added Kyle Korver. There’s always a weird Finals X-factor, and I have this strange feeling Korver will be a difference-maker. Don’t @ me.
Megan Schuster: I’m rooting for Michael Baumann’s meme.
Sam Schube: I’m picking LeBron until proven otherwise. Also the Warriors are herbs.