By Ryan Knuppel

The NBA Finals kick off on Thursday, June 1, 2017 from Oakland, California between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The questions are posed in the days leading up to the event, who has the advantage in this game? In this article, we will take a look at various topics and look outside the box for the key advantage between the two teams.

Who Was Better In Regular Season?

The Warriors were the #1 seed in the Western Conference with a 67-15 record. They ended their year winning 15 out of 16 games. The Cavaliers were the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 51-31 record. The Cavaliers ended their regular season on a 4 game losing streak. No question here that the team with the better regular season was the Golden State Warriors.

Who Was Better In Postseason?

The Warriors are undefeated this year in the postseason going 12-0, while the Cleveland Cavaliers went 12-1 with a loss to the Boston Celtics. The Warriors played Portland, Utah and San Antonio, who had a combined regular season record of 153-93. The Cavaliers played Indiana, Toronto and Boston, who had a combined regular season record of 146-100. Once again, the advantage goes to Golden State Warriors.

See Upstone’s take on what the Cavs need to do to repeat as NBA Champions by clicking here.

Oddsmakers

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas have made the Golden State Warriors a -320 favorite to the +260 Cleveland Cavaliers. Part of this determination is due to Golden State having the home court advantage and playing 4 games at home compared to Cleveland’s 3 games in Ohio. This is one of the largest opening lines in the modern day NBA era. Bottom line, Vegas doesn’t lose money because they are “sthmarter” than we are! Advantage here goes to Golden State Warriors.

Offense vs. Defense

Golden State scored 1420 points, while allowing their opposition to score 1224 points in the postseason, creating a difference of +196. The Cavaliers on the other hand scored 1518 points, while allowing their opposition to score 1341 points in the postseason making a difference of +177. Cleveland Cavaliers scored more points in the postseason but you have to consider that they played in 1 more game. A better judgment is the difference between the amount of points allowed vs. amount of points they scored. Golden State holds the edge +196 vs. +177 for the Cavaliers. Once again, the advantage goes to the Golden State Warriors.

Coaching

Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr has been on the sidelines with continued back issues after having a spinal procedure done back in the beginning of May. Mike Brown has been filling in for Kerr and is currently expected to be the head coach for the Warriors through at least game 2 of the finals. General Manager Bob Myers has stated that Kerr is running day-to-day operations with the team but Brown has been running the team in games. Myers stated that he is hopeful that Kerr will be able to return to full duties before the end of the playoffs but ESPN has reported that Kerr is in “a significant amount of pain and discomfort”. It remains to be seen if he can return this year or if Brown will guide the team for the remainder of the series.

Cleveland will have their coach Tyronn Lue on their sidelines and Lue has been fantastic for the Cavaliers. He started coaching back in 2009 with the Celtics as an assistant, moved on to the LA Clippers as an assistant, then moved on to Associate Head Coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Lue was moved up to head coach in 2016. When it comes to who gets the advantage, this one is tough but I give the nod to Lue and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Points Per Possession

The Golden State Warriors are averaging 115.8 points per 100 possessions, which is the 4th highest Point Per Possession in the past 40 years….that being said Cleveland is scoring 120.7 points per 100 possessions, which is the highest postseason mark in 40 years! The advantage here goes to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Effective Field Goal Percentage

The Golden State Warriors have the 4th best effective field goal percentage at 57.3%. The Cleveland Cavaliers have an effective field-goal percentage of 59.8%, which is the highest in NBA postseason history! Again, the Cleveland Cavaliers hold the advantage here.

So there you have it, now who do you like to take home the hardware? Game Advisers will have multiple picks and analysis for every game throughout the NBA Finals, so be sure to signup for free and take advantage on the way to crushing your bookie.

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