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NBA Finals: Cavaliers at Warriors

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The NBA Finals finally gets underway tonight in Oakland.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Hey! The basketball season is still happening! The Finals finally start tonight after a long layoff due to rather short conference finals' series, and now the Cavs and Warriors finally get started.

Cavs at Warriors
8:00 pm CDT
ABC

I had a plan to write a long preview of this series, and then I realized that a lot of people way smarter than me had already written about it from just about every angle.  The SB Nation Preview page has a ton of awesome original content as well as links to Fear the Sword and Golden State of Mind, which have their own team-centric work that is worth reading.

Zach Lowe at Grantland has his usual good stuff, in both written and podcast form, and I'm sure there is a ton more out there with interesting takes on the upcoming series.

There seems very little point in me chiming in, and in the meantime I am working on a Lynx preview, so I'm just going to let the Finals go for the time being, with just a few bullet point keys that have occurred to me watching these two teams:

  • Rebounding is going to be huge. Specifically, can the Cavs take advantage of the Warriors on the offensive glass? Tristan Thompson (and others) have been huge on the O-glass for the Cavs, and the need to continue that to give themselves a real chance in the Finals.
  • Is Kyrie Irving healthy and spry enough to keep Steph Curry working on defense? He's going to play tonight and needs to be effective, at least keeping Curry occupied, for the Cavs.
  • Will the depth of the Warriors take its toll? In particular, they have so many guys that can at least credibly attempt to guard LeBron James--Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, even Klay Thompson, that they might have an advantage late in the series. We'll see.
  • Can the Cavs secondary guys--J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, et. al. continue to play well in the Finals? They will need contributions from non-star guys--will they get them?
There are more, but that's enough to be getting on with.

Expected lineups

Cavs

Kyrie Irving
Iman Shumpert
LeBron James
Tristan Thompson
Timofey Mozgov

Warriors

Stephen Curry
Klay Thompson
Harrison Barnes
Draymond Green
Andrew Bogut

Enjoy the game and chat about it here.