2015 NBA Finals: Our experts' predictions on Warriors vs. Cavaliers

CBSSports.com Experts' NBA Finals Predictions
 

Ken
Berger

@KBergCBS

Zach
Harper

@TalkHoops

James
Herbert

@outsidethenba

Matt
Moore

@MattMooreCBS

Ananth
Pandian

@Ananth_Pandian
Cavaliers
vs. Warriors

in 7

in 6

in 6

in 5

in 6

Ken Berger, NBA Insider

Golden State had some weaknesses exposed against Houston. When you trap Curry incessantly and force others to make plays off the dribble, you get lower-percentage shots and turnovers -- which the Cavs will take full advantage of. But with Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes, the Warriors have plenty of length/athleticism (not to mention 24 fouls) to use against LeBron James. Plus, whereas Kevin Love wasn't missed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, he'll be missed against this team. As all-powerful as LeBron is, a deciding game at Oracle would be the perfect culmination to what has felt like the Warriors' year from wire-to-wire. Warriors in 7

Zach Harper, NBA Writer

This is a much better and closer matchup than we thought it might be a couple weeks ago. The Cavaliers have proven their role players are capable of consistently showing up and their defense is capable of locking down good offenses that rely on movement, shooting, and passing. Couple that with LeBron James and his fantastic play-making as of late and the Cavs can put up an incredible fight for this trophy. But it just seems like the Warriors have answers for everything thrown their way on both ends of the floor. They don't just rely on the system to get buckets and have that superstar to burn the road arena to the ground. It feels like Steph Curry's season and it feels like the Warriors' trophy. Warriors in 6

James Herbert, NBA Writer

Golden State could overwhelm you with talent in the past, but now it will beat you because of its style and versatility. The Warriors have won in every way imaginable this season, and they present a problem for the Cavaliers unlike anything they've seen in the East. This isn't just Stephen Curry vs. LeBron James -- it's the much deeper, healthier and more flexible favorites going up against a team that is limited in terms of how it gets its offense and the adjustments it can make throughout a series. Warriors in 6

Matt Moore, NBA Writer

Golden State has what feels like infinite weapons. The Cavaliers haven't faced a defense like this, let alone an offense. Considering Kyrie Irving not being 100 percent, LeBron James not being 100 percent, the likelihood that J.R. Smith turns back into a pumpkin at some point, the Warriors' defensive versatility and discipline, and a tremendous homecourt advantage (the Warriors have lost just one game in the playoffs at Oracle, three games all year), it's hard to envision the Cavaliers being much of a threat. The games can be close thanks to LeBron, but the Warriors simply have to protect home court and win one in Cleveland to bring home the title. For as resilient and tough as the Cavaliers have been, the Warriors have been the best team in the NBA this season by a significant margin. Not even LeBron James can change that. Warriors in 5

Ananth Pandian, NBA Writer

The Golden State Warriors have a lot going for them. They have home court advantage, Stephen Curry is the MVP and their whole season has a storybook feel to it. However the Cavaliers have LeBron James, the best player in the league, a two-time NBA champion and the determination to bring a championship to Cleveland. James physically willed his team into the Finals and in the process has inspired players like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson to play at their fullest potential. The Cavs will have their hands full trying to slow down Curry and the Warriors' offense but Cleveland's defense has risen to the occasion throughout the playoffs, why will they falter in the Finals? James has accepted the challenges Cleveland has faced all season and now the Cavs are primed to help him bring "one trophy back to Northeast Ohio." Cavs in 6

LeBron James  (USATSI)
LeBron James had 42 points in the Cavs' 110-99 victory vs. the Warriors in February. (USATSI)

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