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Cavaliers Visit Warriors for Game 1 of NBA Finals

After a sweep of their series against the Atlanta Hawks to win the NBA Eastern Conference title, the Cleveland Cavaliers reached the NBA Final for the second time in their franchise history. Their opponent will be the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are the No. 1 seed overall and knocked off the Houston Rockets in 5 games to win the Western Conference title.

Cleveland enters the game having won 7 consecutive playoff games including four consecutive on the road. Overall, in the playoffs, the Cavaliers are 12-2 the best in the league.

Cleveland is undefeated at 12-0 during the playoffs this year when it outrebounds or ties its opponent. The Cavaliers are averaging 6.6 more rebounds per game that their opponent in the postseason, which tops this year’s playoffs.

During the Conference championship, Cleveland outrebounded Atlanta by an average of close to 13 boards per game 52 to 39.3.

The Cavaliers have scored at least 10 3-pointers in their past five postseason games. Over that run, the Cavaliers are shooting 41% from beyond the arc.

Cleveland is allowing 92.5 points a game, which is the least of any of the playoff teams in this year’s postseason. The Cavaliers have kept their opponents to less than 100 points in 11 of their 14 playoff games.

Golden State’s playoff run has included a sweep in the first round over New Orleans, a six-game series win over Memphis and the five-game series win over Houston. Overall, the Warriors are 12-3 in the postseason.

Stephen Curry and backcourt mate Klay Thompson lead the Warriors offensively. Curry leads the team in scoring during the playoffs at 29.1 points per game. He has hit 73 of his three-point shots to set a playoff record.

The Warriors do not have any players of note who are injured. Marreese Speights has been cleared to play but is currently inactive.

Cleveland’s starting point guard Kyrie Irving has recovered from a foot injury, but his left knee is still bothering him. He says he will play through the pain, but the biggest question is how far below 100% will he be. Kevin Love is out with a shoulder injury suffered in round one.

The teams split two head-to-head games during the regular season. In the game Golden State won, LeBron James did not play for Cleveland, while in the game he did play the Cavaliers won by 11 points.

Cleveland ended its regular season winning 14 of its final 15 games versus opponents from the Western Conference, outscoring them by 11 points per game.

Prediction: Game 1 will be close but I expect the Warriors to make a late run at home and win 110-105.

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