Welcome to the return of the Barstool! Since a good many of us met on a dearly departed (and trademarked) website, we are going to be bringing our arguments here. To kick off the rebirth, we will be having two of the better ones to ever see the site, and two known NBA minds, David vs Joao. Please vote in the poll at the end, thank you. If you have topics you want to debate, or you want to debate yourself, let us know.
David: The Warriors will defeat the Lebronnonites in the NBA Finals.
1) Health. The Cavs has not faced a 100% team in these playoffs, The Celtics, the Bulls have both been shadows of their former selves, and the Hawks were a medical ward. and even with Love being down, the Cavs still Irving a little dinged. The Warriors are about as healthy as a Finals team can be, with Curry being OK after headbutting the floor.
2) JR Smith is your third best player. Think about that. LeBron has had Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh as his tag team partners the past few years, now he has JR Smith and Irving – even Mike Miller has deteriorated to the point he can’t get the splinters out of his rear end. That ain’t Pat Riley- or his clone standing there on the bench either, you have the NBA Coaching equivalent of Chris Webber over there. Can you trust Kyrie?
3) The Warriors has won 44 of 47 times they have hit the floor in San Fran. They have one of the best home court advantages in sports, and there won’t be many tickets for any Cavs fans trying to sneak in. Even with the Finals dumping the 2-3-2 format, that is still a massive advantage.
4) The Cavs have only lost 2 games this postseason, the Warriors 3- and the West is far superior than the East. Think the Pelicans and Grizzlies might have done a little damage in the East? The Warriors dismissed them in a rain of threes with 9 of the 12 wins being double digits. The Cavs only 5 by such a margin.
Joao: The Warriors are the trendy pick but let me start by touching on your arguments:
1) So haven’t the Warriors – faced the Rockets without Patrick Beverley (Houston’s top perimeter defender) and with a banged up Dwight Howard. Faced the Grizzlies with Mike Conley’s facial problem and Tony Allen’s injury (again, Allen is the team’s top perimeter defender).
Speaking of health, the Cavs are not going to face a 100% healthy opponent. Klay Thompson is concussed and the team is not sure whether he will be able to play next thursday. To that you can add Marreese Speights. Playoffs = everyone has injuries.
2) You can absolutely trust Kyrie, he is already one of the game’s finest point guards. Besides trusting JR Smith, who has been playing great, you can also trust Shumpert, Tristan Thompson, Mozgov, Matty Dellavedova and James Jones; they have all stepped up during the playoffs. Plus they have the best player in the world.
3) Say that to the Hawks, who hadn’t lost back-to-back games at home during the season. They were swept.
4) The Bulls and the Hawks are good teams and Cleveland beat them handily, and for the first time in these playoffs the Cavs will have clear advantage in the paint.
David: Let me reinforce my position on the West being a much more dominate conference.
The Bulls went 17-13, and the Celtics 12-18 vs the West, and the Cavs went 18-12, so I don’t think they would have great success if the Finals teams were swapped- just for fun; The Warriors went 25-5 vs the East, the Rockets 23-7 and even the Pelicans went 16-14.
Take the regular season what you will, but Cleveland split with New Orleans (each won at home)
Cleveland lost both games with Houston
Golden State won both games with Boston
Golden State split with Atlanta (each won at home)
So vs the other playoffs: Cleveland went 1-3, Golden State went 3-1.
Cleveland split with Golden State (each won at home)
In case you were wondering.
Joao: So your entire second argument boils down to regular season… really? That is a voodoo argument and I will tell you why:
The Cavaliers went 1-3 during the regular season against the Hawks. In the playoffs they swept them 4-0. So much for the regular season being indicative of anything right now.
You completely disregarded the fact that the Cavaliers peaked during the latter part of the regular season and that they are playing their best basketball of the year right now.
During the regular season the Cavs had chemistry issues, important injuries (most notably LeBron) and issues both inside and on the perimeter.
The midseason acquisitions of Mozgov, Shumpert and JR Smith have improved the team, both in key positions and in terms of depth.
So, really, you cannot look at what happened during the regular season as a preview of things to come.
The Warriors have the MVP but the Cavs have the best player on the planet, someone who is heading towards his 5th consecutive NBA Finals. He knows what needs to be done to win it all.
David: Well, again we are down to a crippled Hawks team. That was not the Hawks team that blew up during the season and threw the fear into the Bulls and Cavs. We kinda saw a shell of that team (and they still played the Cavs closer than expected.)
The Warriors had a better record vs a better conference, they did better against the better teams in the conference. They lead the league in three point shots and assists- so they move the ball and shoot the ball better than anyone else. Yes LeBron can shut anyone down, Iman can hold his own, but the way they move? LeBron can’t guard everyone.
Klay is practicing, Klay will be fine for game 1. He might not be 100%, but he’s going to play a lot more than the guy the Cavs dropped two number 1 overall picks for.
The Warriors are deeper, they have conquered the better conference, and they are vastly better coached. Plus LeBron is playing his 5th straight Finals series, that’s a lot of miles on that body, without a lot of rest.
Warriors in 6.
Joao: So basically your main arguments are what happened during the regular season and the power of the Western Conference? That is paper thin.
“Crippled Hawks team” – were the Hawks that crippled? I mean, really? The Cavs were pretty banged up too, so I don’t think that argument holds any meaning.
The Cavaliers will be able to defend the perimeter (GS’s main weapon) unlike any other team the Warriors have faced in the postseason. And yes, it is because of Iman Shumpert and LeBron James.
The Cavaliers will also have the advantage inside, which means points in the paint and rebounds that lead to 2nd chances, all courtesy of Tristan Thompson (rebounding machine during the postseason) and Mozgov.
Then the Cavs will also come at you with other weapons, including Kyrie Irving and JR Smith. Some guys will step up on some nights, I am looking at James Jones and Matty Dellavedova to hit big shots on different games.
And it all starts and ends with the best player in the world, LeBron James. Love him or hate him.
The Cavaliers are going to win the NBA title this year.
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