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NFL Week One Picks

By: Daniel Stettin

It’s back! Everyone’s favorite time of the year (minus the start of GW Basketball) is back. After the teasers that were the preseason and the Thursday Night Opener where Kansas City shut down New England 42-27, we finally have a full slate of games on this Sunday.

Tampa Bay @ Miami: Stay safe Florida. As a Florida native, today is a day where football is a distraction from the potentially catastrophic hurricane that is pounding the state as I write this. I just want to remind people that this storm is no joke and take all precautions. Don’t be stupid and go outside and think that you can make it through this. The devastation that occurred throughout the Caribbean is enough to show you to take this very, very seriously. This game was (obviously) postponed to Week 11 and will count towards that week for fantasy football purposes as well.

Jets @ Bills 1 PM CBS: Who wants Sam Darnold more? That’s the question that fans of both teams are pondering throughout this season as it seems fairly obvious that both are trying to tank this season. They both have traded away star players in the preseason for high draft picks and players that may not be in Buffalo and New York after this year. I just can’t see a scenario where the Jets are able to put together enough defensive stands or offensive drives to get a W. For as bad as Buffalo is, Tyrod Taylor is still a decent QB and LeSean McCoy is a stud RB. The Bills have a strong first team but they have suspect depth and that is what will lead to their demise this season. Week 1 though, the Bills have just enough to beat the lowly Jets. Buffalo: 24 New York: 10

Falcons @ Bears 1 PM FOX: You think Atlanta has heard enough about 28-3? The reigning NFC champs are back and ready for some vengeance after an embarrassing ending to last years Super Bowl. They still have an insane amount of firepower with Matt Ryan at QB, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the backfield, and Julio Jones out wide. Against a Chicago team that was one of the worst teams in the NFL last year, whose best pickup in the offseason is their backup QB, Atlanta should have a field day. Jordan Howard should be able keep the Bears in it at first but once Mike Glennon has to start throwing it more often, Atlanta should run away with this. Atlanta: 31 Chicago: 20


Ravens @ Bengals 1 PM CBS: The big question all preseason would be if Joe Flacco would be ready for week 1. Thankfully for Baltimore, Flacco will be playing. Even if he isn’t elite (take that Barstool!), he still gives Baltimore a much better shot at winning than Ryan Mallett does. Similar to Buffalo, Baltimore has a good first team but have suspect depth. If they stay healthy, Baltimore is a playoff team. But everyone knows injuries occur and its rare to go a whole season without any major injuries. Cincinnati, on the other hand, should remain consistently above average like they have been under Andy Dalton. Rookie Joe Mixon is listed third on the depth chart, but I think he leads the Bengals in rushing yards this season.  First rounder John Ross most likely won’t play, but the play of AJ Green should be enough for Dalton. Cincinnati: 21 Baltimore: 17

Steelers @ Browns 1 PM CBS: Loaded. That’s the first word that comes to my mind when I look at that Pittsburgh roster. This is a team that was expected to be a Super Bowl contender this year and that was before they added former Brown and All Pro Joe Haden. Between Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant, and Antonio Brown, you gotta question how Cleveland will be able to stop this Pittsburgh offense. Rookie Deshone Kizer is starting for the Browns and while he had some dramatic plays, his play was subpar overall. First overall pick Myles Garrett isn’t playing due to an ankle injury, whenever he is back he will make a major impact but that won’t happen today. Pittsburgh: 34 Cleveland: 14

Seahawks @ Packers 4:25 FOX: This will probably be the best game of the opening week. Both teams are expecting a Super Bowl run and I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFC championship game is a rematch of this game. This is gonna be a high scoring affair. Aaron Rodgers is near perfect at Lambeau and the Seattle defense is not the shutdown defense it has been in the past. It’s odd to think about Seattle as an offensive powerhouse rather than defense, but that is what they have become. The key to this game will be if Seattle’s offensive line can hold up Russell Wilson (which they struggled to do last season). I don’t think the line holds up and Green Bay takes the dub. Green Bay: 28 Seattle: 24

Other Games:

Cardinals @ Lions 1 PM FOX: All the talk is that Carson Palmer is gonna bounce back from last years struggles. I don’t buy it and Matt Stafford leads the Lions to a big home opener victory.                 Detroit: 27 Arizona: 13

Jaguars @ Texans 1 PM CBS: This is gonna be one depressing game. Even if Deshaun Watson was starting for Houston, I’m not buying the Houston hype this year. We already know the story with Jacksonville. Houston: 17 Jacksonville: 7 

Raiders @ Titans 1 PM CBS: The upstart teams in the AFC battle in week one. Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota return from bad injuries at the end of last year as both squads are sleeper Super Bowl picks. I’m all aboard the Titans train. They have the best red zone QB (Mariota) and WR (Eric Decker) in the past two years and that doesn’t change. Titans: 31 Raiders: 27

Eagles @ Redskins 1 PM FOX: Does Carson Wentz make the jump this year? I think yes and Philly shuts down the Washington passing game who is breaking in two new starting receivers. I don’t know if Philly can run the ball that effectively but they should be able to throw the ball enough to get the win. Philadelphia: 20 Washington: 14

Colts @ Rams 4:05 CBS: No offense to either team, but this game is going to be brutal. Andrew Luck is out leaving Scott Tolzien as the starter. Nothing is more riveting than a Jared Goff-Scott Tolzien matchup. Kidding aside, the Rams have to take this game to get some confidence into Goff and new head coach Sean McVay. Los Angeles: 17 Indianapolis: 9

Panthers @ 49ers 4:25 FOX: Cam Newton is back after having shoulder surgery in March. After they struggled last season following a Super Bowl run, the talk is how with Christian McCaffrey and Newton, the offense will be electric. I’m actually a huge fan of Brian Hoyer who consistently produces no matter where he plays QB. Check the stats and he has actually been a solid QB. The 49ers however, don’t have the defense to stop Carolina. Carolina: 27 San Francisco: 21

Giants @ Cowboys 8:30 NBC: So much for that six game suspension for Ezekiel Elliot. He will be playing this entire season and that’s HUGE to the Dallas offense. The Giants are extremely overrated after beating mostly bad teams last season. However, Dallas is a team that the Giants have seemed to have figured out, beating them three times in a row. Dallas is the better team, but the Giants have their number. New York: 23 Dallas: 21

Saints @ Vikings 7:10 ESPN (Monday Night): It’s the return of Adrian Peterson to Minnesota. Unfortunately he is probably on the wrong side of the matchup. This is the year where I see Drew Brees start to fall off and the Vikings nasty defense will be the first do contribute. Sam Bradford quietly set the completion percentage record last year and he dink and dunks his way to victory Monday night. Minnesota: 28 New Orleans: 13

Chargers @ Broncos 10:20 ESPN (Monday Night): The big news out of this game is that Beth Mowins will become the first women to call play by play for a regular season game. The first game as the LA Chargers will not go great as the Broncos defense is still stacked even if their offense has a lot of fire power. I’m not that confident in Trevor Siemian but he is competent enough to lead Denver to a 1-0 start. Denver: 19 Los Angeles: 17

NFC Preview

By: Cam Ventola

Football’s almost back.

After one of the wildest Super Bowls in history, football fans everywhere are wondering if Tom Brady and the Pats will make the “Blitz for Six” or if Matty Ice and the Falcons are a true superpower in the league, or merely a one-hit wonder.

Today, let’s take a look at the NFC and see who’s hot and who’s not.

NFC East:
Dallas Cowboys: Losing Ezekiel Elliott hurts. After an explosive rookie season that saw him rush for 1631 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and score 15 TD’s, the Cowboys could be in a bit of a pickle if his 6 game suspension for alleged domestic violence holds up. That being said, America’s Team still boasts a formidable O-Line, a defense that just won’t quit, and the other great young talent in the NFL–Dak Prescott, who finished the 2016 season with 3667 yards, 24 TD’s and a 104.9 passer rating. They likely won’t go 13-3 this year–they’ll have to overcome Green Bay, Denver, Kansas City and Atlanta, as well as potentially resurgent division rivals like the Giants and the Redskins if they want to stay relevant. That being said, Cowboys fans shouldn’t worry too much.
Predicted Record: 12-4

New York Giants: The Giants always feel like that one team I doubt every year and then they do surprisingly well. Despite a sluggish offense last year, 26th in points scored and 25th in total yards, they still rode their top-tier defense to an 11-5 record. And then Green Bay mauled them in the playoffs. Their schedule this year is a mixed bag–with plenty of easy match ups (Rams, Chargers, 49ers, Lions), and just as much stiff competition (Seattle, Oakland, Denver, Kansas City). The real question for the Giants is offense–Eli Manning threw 16 interceptions last year, there’s little stability at RB and they have a questionable receiving core outside of Odell Beckham Jr.
Predicted Record: 10-6

Washington Redskins: I just have to say it: the Redskins are great at being a decent team, but nothing more. Kirk “You Like That” Cousins had a solid 2016 campaign, finishing the year with a 97.2 passer rating, but the team floundered after a promising 2015 season, going 8-7-1 on the year. A lackluster defense (bottom 5 in yards allowed), paired with a good offense (3rd in yards, 12th in points scored) couldn’t carry the Skins to the playoffs again. And honestly, should that come as a surprise? While there’s definitely promise on both sides of the field for Washington, I’ve yet to see consistency. Sure, they’re not a complete dumpster fire like the Eagles, but the Skins love to disappoint. Two stronger teams in their division plus a schedule featuring Oakland, Denver, Kansas City, and Seattle will make it tough for Washington to really contend this year.
Predicted Record: 7-9

Philadelphia Eagles: The 2016 Eagles season is a lot like an iconic episode from one of Philly’s greatest gifts to mankind–”The DENNIS System” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The Eagles demonstrated their value to fans by ditching Chip Kelly and starting the season strong with a 3-0 record. They engaged opposing offenses physically in those 3 games, holding them to an average of 9 points per game, while also putting up 30.6 points in that span behind rookie QB Carson Wentz. They nurtured the dependence of a fan base emotionally desperate for an iota of success, but then proceeded to neglect them emotionally with a 5 game losing streak. I guess the Eagles inspired some hope into the hearts and minds of their loyal fans by beating the Giants and the Cowboys to end the year at a meager 7-9. It’s about time Philly fans separate themselves entirely from this team, isn’t it?  Even so, I wouldn’t be surprised if Philly manages to build on some of the successes they had last year–I haven’t given up on Carson Wentz. Despite this, the rest of the NFC East is leagues better than Philly, and overcoming Oakland, Seattle and Denver in the regular season will be a challenge. If I had to guess whether Philly will reap what they sow or get DENNIS’d yet again, I’d pick the latter.
Predicted Record: 6-10

Division Winner: Dallas Cowboys

NFC West:
Arizona Cardinals: The 2016 season was not kind to the Cardinals’ aging lineup. Arizona’s dominant 2015 season seems like a distant memory after they went 7-8-1 last season. Carson Palmer, who’s turning 38 in December, can’t evade Father Time much longer, especially after tossing 14 interceptions and giving up 14 fumbles (4 of which he lost). Their defense simultaneously was 2nd best in yards allowed and 14th in points allowed. The offense was in the top 10, but turnovers limited their productivity. Can the Cardinals have a great year? Yes–David Johnson had an explosive year and the defense is still poised to shut down opposing teams. I think the real question is whether or not the receivers and Carson Palmer can play efficiently for another year. They’re lucky enough to have a pretty easy schedule–Rams, Jaguars, Bucs, Titans and Lions should make for easy wins. Don’t sleep on this team, but definitely don’t get your hopes up.
Predicted Record: 9-7

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams have really tried to improve these past couple years. One minute they boast Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin and the stud-to-be Jared Goff. And then all of them woefully underperform. I won’t go so far as to call Goff a bust, but he’s been underwhelming to say the least. The Rams, a team whose unpopularity in LA is only rivaled by the Chargers, would have to see some tangible improvement from their young talent if they want to win more than a couple games. Their defense, once hailed as their saving grace, was hit or miss throughout the last year, giving up an average of 23 points per game. I wouldn’t expect much out of the Rams this year, but I may be wrong.
Predicted Record: 3-13

San Francisco 49ers: Ah yes, the San Francisco 49ers, a team so desperate for a QB they picked up Brian Hoyer. I’m not so hot on the defense outside DeForest Buckner, and Carlos Hyde may be the only valuable source of offense. I’m not really sure what else to say about this team: they’re honestly just bad. Their schedule comprises of teams way better than them, but they may be able to pull off a victory against Chicago or Tennessee. Sorry, Niners fans, this just isn’t your year.
Predicted Record: 2-14

Seattle Seahawks: Undefeated in the preseason means they’ll go 16-0, right? Not exactly, but the Seahawks ought to be optimistic headed into the season. I don’t need to chew your ears off about the offense and defense, both of which are in tip-top shape. Russell Wilson makes an otherwise average group of wide receivers look awesome. Definitely watch their running game–after a couple of rocky years in Green Bay, Eddie Lacy is hoping to keep the weight off and stay in shape for his new team. I’ve put a lot of faith into him before and been wrong, but I’d love to see him return to his rookie year form…or any kind of half-decent form for that matter. The situation at RB is the only notable issue Seattle may face–it’ll likely be a great season for them.
Predicted Record: 13-3

Division Winner: Seattle Seahawks

NFC North:
Chicago Bears: Watch out football, the QB core of Mitch Trubisky, Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez is here to strike fear into your pathetic hearts. I’m quivering, personally. The Bears pose little threat to any team in the NFL, with some potential on offense in Josh Bellamy and Jordan Howard, but a slew of nobodies across the rest of the roster. They have a couple of easy match ups–Cleveland–but they lack the talent to win more than a few games. It’d take a savior to dig Da Bears out of this one.
Predicted Record: 2-14

Detroit Lions: I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Lions botch the end of the 2016 season by losing to the Packers (again). To make it even better they screwed up their playoff berth. This offseason, the Lions decided to pay Matt Stafford, who I maintain is a pretty average QB, way more money than he’ll ever be worth–$135 million. A starting QB who only threw 24 TD’s just made a killing. And it’s not like they have a particularly potent offense either, ranking in the bottom half on both points and yards per game. Their slightly-above-average defense was the saving grace of the 2016 season, and even then they still got whooped by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Lions have some promise in Ameer Abdullah and Eric Ebron, but this roster has been so prone to breakdowns it’s questionable just how cohesive they’ll be as a unit. I definitely wouldn’t count them out, though–making the wild card is a strong possibility, but winning the NFC North is a bit of a stretch.
Predicted Record: 9-7

Green Bay Packers: If I haven’t made it quite clear yet, I’m a Packers fan. Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping quite like Green Bay football. I’m probably a little biased but I’m optimistic about the upcoming season. Green Bay has managed to bolster its receiving core by putting Martellus Bennett at TE. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams will continue to perform well for the team, and Ty Montgomery has shown a lot of promise at RB. The O-Line could be a concern, Lane Taylor and Jahri Evans have a lot to prove at the guard positions. Oh, and we have Aaron Rodgers. 40 TD’s and only 7 interceptions in 2016 isn’t half bad if you ask me. The defense is the big question mark. The corners practically forgot how to play last year. The defensive line was frequently underwhelming. Morgan Burnett and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix have played exceptionally well, and Clay Matthews will continue to be the heart and soul of the secondary. While nothing’s guaranteed, there’s good reason to be optimistic in Wisconsin. Go Pack Go!
Predicted Record: 11-5

Minnesota Vikings: Remember when Minnesota was crushing every team that got in its way at the start of last year? It was worrisome–their defense had been historically good. Sam Bradford had finally found relevance in Minnesota and so the Vikings felt confident they’d be ok without Teddy Bridgewater. They went 5-0. Then they lost 4 straight and ended up finishing the season 8-8. Kyle Rudolph is coming off another productive season, which should be a big boost to a struggling QB core. Central to the Vikings’ success will be whether Stefon Diggs can continue improving his game and if Latavius Murray has a productive first season with the team. The Vikings could make waves this year, but their roster was prone to sputtering out and underperforming last year. Their schedule is cushioned by a handful of easy match ups, such as the Ravens, the Rams and the Browns, but I’m skeptical the Vikings will remain consistent.
Predicted Record: 8-8

Division Winner: Green Bay Packers

NFC South:
Atlanta Falcons: Last year, the Falcons saw an 11-5 season that culminated in a devastating Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Their biggest issue (which became all too apparent in the Super Bowl) was a young, inconsistent defense. The Falcons are still likely to have a strong season in a weak division. Odds are, reigning MVP Matt Ryan is out for blood–and on offense he’ll have Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Devonta Freeman backing him up again. Despite a slew of difficult matchups against Seattle, Green Bay, and Dallas, the Falcons will also pick up easy wins against the Bears, the Jets and the Bills. This team went from pumping artificial noise into their stadium to the Super Bowl in just 2 years–it’s been a wild ride to say the least. Watch out for Atlanta’s defense, as that’ll be the key to contending for the Super Bowl again.
Predicted Record: 10-6

Carolina Panthers: Last year was a bummer for bandwagoners and real fans alike. Cam Newton couldn’t follow up on his 2015 MVP season, completing only 52.9% of his pass attempts along with 19 TD’s and 14 interceptions. The Panthers as a whole went from a well-oiled machine to a glob of inconsistency that started the season 1-5 and finished at 6-10. Maybe they were hungover from their Super Bowl appearance, but that can’t explain how they went from a top 5 defense to a bottom 5 defense. I knew losing Josh Norman would hurt, but this seems a bit ridiculous. Their offense proved to be incredibly average last year, too. Honestly, there’s no reason this roster should be playing so poorly–we know Cam Newton can play, but his 2016 season was nothing short of abysmal. Lucky for Carolina, there will be plenty of easy match ups against the 49ers, the Bills, the Jets, the Lions, the Eagles, the Bears and the Dolphins, but they’ll also have to defeat teams like New England and Green Bay. The season could go great for Carolina, or they could disappoint yet again, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Predicted Record: 8-8

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees will continue to push this team into relevance until he physically cannot stand. The veteran QB set the record for most completions in a season at 431, completing a staggering 70% of his pass attempts, while he also led the league in yards and yards per game. Tack on 37 TD’s and a 101.7 passer rating and Saints fans have good reason to be optimistic about the team’s offense, even after shipping Brandin Cooks off to New England. They finished 1st in yards per game and 2nd in points scored, but their defense was 2nd worst in points allowed, causing the team to finish at 7-9. Their 2017 schedule features enough weak defenses like the Bears, the Redskins, the Dolphins and the Bills that they should be able to win a fair number of games, but their inability on defense will hold this team back.
Predicted Record: 7-9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: For the past couple seasons I’ve been expecting huge improvement from Tampa Bay–their offensive unit looks great behind Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, but they’ve often lacked finesse on both sides of the field. The defense has been sloppy, and the offense is prone to making a lot of little mistakes (such as Mike Evans dropping the ball all the time). Bucs fans will be treated to another high-powered offensive season, but real question will be the running game as the Bucs seem to have relatively little depth in that area. Jacquizz Rodgers had a career-best season for Tampa Bay last year, so it’s entirely possible he’ll have an even better year. Additionally, the Bucs will need a better defense than they had last year (which was roughly league average) if they want to topple the Falcons for the division title. Their schedule features enough even-matches and easy opponents to deliver this team another winning season, but I’m not so sure they’ll make waves just yet.
Predicted Record: 9-7

Division Winner: Atlanta Falcons

AFC Preview

By: Jake Sichel

The 2017 NFL season is finally making a return this Thursday night September 16th in Foxbourogh as the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off. With the start of the NFL season, each team thinks that they have what it takes to win the Super Bowl come February. How will the AFC shake-up? Here are my AFC predictions for the 2017 NFL Season.

Predicted Standings 

AFC East

New England Patriots 12-4

Miami Dolphins 10-6

Buffalo Bills 6-10

New York Jets 2-14

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6

Baltimore Ravens 9-7

Cincinnati Bengals 8-8

Cleveland Browns 6-10

AFC South

Tennessee Titans 11-5

Houston Texans 9-7

Indianapolis Colts 9-7

Jacksonville Jaguars 7-9

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs 11-5

Oakland Raiders 10-6

Los Angeles Chargers 9-7

Denver Broncos 8-8

Playoff Teams (by seed)

1. New England Patriots

  • Even with the loss of WR Julian Edelman to an ACL injury, the Patriots are still in prime position to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Tom Brady has yet to show his age on the field plus the Patriots went out and traded for WR’s Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett. The defense could potentially have a down year having lost both Cyrus Jones and Shea McClellin to preseason injuries, but there’s no doubt that Bill Bellichick will right the ship and engineer another successful Patriots season.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Kansas City’s number one ranked defense from a year ago returns in its entirety. The offense doesn’t make mistakes, led by QB Alex Smith, and look for Tyreek Hill to be more involved in the offense. He’s a game changer who could score every time he touches the ball. The AFC West may be the toughest division in the AFC, but look for the Andy Reid and the Chiefs to emerge as division champs once again.

3. Tennessee Titans

  • The Titans had a surprisingly good campaign last year, and I think they will continue that run this season. A dynamic offense and top 10 defense that led this team to 9 wins return almost all of its starters from a year ago. All Tennessee needs is experience, and as Marcus Mariota progresses so will the team as a whole. Look for rookie WR Corey Davis to make an immediate impact in the passing game.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • This is going to be the first season that Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell are all healthy heading into a season. The dynamic trio should fare well against most defenses, helped by one of the best offensive lines in the league. This team should do well in a weak AFC North.

5. Oakland Raiders (Win head to head vs Mia)

  • Up until QB Derek Carr’s injury last season, the Raiders were considered the best team in the NFL. They return most of their starters and even added a few pieces on defense, however I think a slight regression is due for young QB Derek Carr and the inconsistent running game. Still look for them to win 10 games in arguably the toughest division in football as they make the first wild card spot.

6. Miami Dolphins 

  • On paper Miami should be one of the most feared teams in the league. They have stars at nearly every position, both offense and defense. The WR core of Devante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Jarvis Landry as well as RB Jay Ayjai could mean disaster for most opposing defenses. On defense, the Dolphins have Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. The biggest question for Miami is whether Jay Cutler can recreate his stellar 2015 numbers, the last time he was coached by Adam Gase.

NBA Finals Preview

By: Daniel Stettin

The 2017 NBA Finals begin tonight at 9 PM on ABC between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. This will be the third straight season in which these two squads will face off for a championship with Golden State winning in 2015 and Cleveland taking it last year. Essentially everyone has pegged these two teams to play in the Finals since Kevin Durant joined Golden State in Free Agency last summer. Both teams have been dominant in the playoffs, with Golden State yet to lose a playoff game while Cleveland has only lost one playoff game.

The Case for Cleveland:

The case for Cleveland starts and ends with Lebron James. The best basketball player in the world continues to get better each season despite him now being 32. The man can certainly do anything on a basketball court but everyone knows that. Obviously Lebron will have to be dominant for Cleveland to win this series. This team is so deep that they bring numerous former stars off their bench, including Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. The ability to bring in numerous quality players in the few minutes Lebron, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and the rest of the starting 5. This is a team where every player knows their role on the court (or off of it) and that allows them to play great basketball. For Cleveland to win this series, they must control the tempo of the game. Golden State is deadly in transition so slowing the game down is key. Don’t overlook Tristan Thompson’s impact rebounding in this series, he would average 12 + RPG if he didn’t have Kevin Love and Lebron in the starting lineup. If Thompson could take advantage of his matchup with Varajao and McGee, that would really open up the outside for all the shooters Cleveland has.

The Case for Golden State:

Unlike Cleveland, winning will not rely on any single player for Golden State. That’s not to say the Warriors don’t need their stars to perform, it just shows how strong of a starting 5 they have. It’s all defense for the Warriors as their offense is so deep and balanced that they can win even without shooting well. That’s kinda what happens when you have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, David West, Shaun Livingston, etc. As long as they are average offensively, they can keep up with Cleveland. But they are going to have to be at their best defensively, where Cleveland will dominate inside (especially if the big men don’t hold up) but they can not let them hit from downtown. If Cleveland is hitting their three’s they probably are gonna win. Kevin Durant is going to have to play lockdown defense on Lebron from the perimeter or he might average 40+ PPG in this series. However, Golden State is pretty good defensively so I see them having some success on defense.

Who Wins:

I’ve got Cleveland repeating as NBA champions in a 7 game series where both teams hold home court until Game 7 when we see signature Lebron James dominate to grab his 4th NBA Finals MVP and 4th title. I see Curry struggling with Irving throughout the series but Klay Thompson outplay JR Smith. Durant and Lebron play at about the same level (except for Game 7 Lebron dominates), and both Cleveland big men thoroughly outplay their match ups.