With the third installment of a Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors trilogy all but certain for this year’s NBA Finals, Bleacher Report NBA writer Howard Beck dared to look ahead and give his prediction of who will take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy home for the second time in the past three seasons.
“To me, it’s always been the Warriors,” Beck told The Jim Rome Show on Monday. “As good as Cleveland is, and yes, they beat them in the championship last year – again let’s remember context, the Warriors had that 3-1 series lead and that if not for Draymond Green’s suspension that thing, in most people’s eyes, ends in five or six with the Warriors winning it, and even Game 7, it goes down to the last minute and that’s not to diminish the Cavaliers accomplishment whatsoever. They earned it, but it’s not like they blew them off the court, and the Warriors added (Kevin) Durant, and the Cavaliers Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.”
Beck views this year’s edition of the Golden State Warriors as historically great and can not see how the Cavaliers can keep up.
“What the Warriors have constructed is possibly the most talented lineup in the history of the game,” Beck said. “Between (Steph) Curry and Durant alone, and not to mention Draymond Green, one of the most versatile players we’ve ever seen, and then Klay Thompson shooting. I just don’t know how you deal with that, how any team deals with that. I think it will be a battle. I think it’s going to be a phenomenal series, but I absolutely think the Warriors are going to be favored.”
Last week, Beck also had the honor of being in the sequester room of the NBA Draft’s lottery. The writer shared his experience of seeing Boston win the first overall selection in next month’s draft, followed by the Lakers picking second.
“It’s a lot of fun because you see the drama unfold in a whole different way because you’re watching ping pong balls bounce around and it’s a four ball combination. So one ball comes up, you don’t know anything. Second ball comes up, ok now you’re looking at these charts of all these number combinations. So it’s very tense,” Beck explained. “You could watch Rob Pelinka, the GM of the Lakers, Steve Pagliuca, one of the co-owners of the Boston Celtics, and you could just see everybody fixated on that machine, waiting for the ball to pop up. Pelinka in particularly, he was just locked in on that thing. He was very tense. And then the Celtics get that first four ball combination that puts them in the number one spot. Steve Pagliuca from the Celtics is exulting, and it’s just an interesting way of watching it.”
Of course, with two historic organizations getting the top two selections in the draft, there have been some who are calling it a conspiracy, as you usually see in this case. The self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, Beck, said it didn’t happen here.
“Not a chance. You got all these witnesses in the room, you’ve got Ernst and Young the accounting firm over seeing it all, you’ve got these ping pong balls. It’s not like a ping pong ball is your ball, and so people say you can weigh the balls. No, there’s 14 balls with 14 numbers on them, and there’s a thousand four-ball combinations. So no, you can’t possibly rig it,” Beck said. “I know, look, people wonder about it because of who came up first and second, but Boston, because of the trade with Brooklyn, had the highest chance of getting the top pick. How was that supposed to be a surprise? The Lakers, again, they were about where they were supposed to be. So, people are always going to believe what they want to believe, and if you want to believe in the frozen envelope from way back when with the Knicks, ok. Like I can kind of see how people can determine that could happen, but in this system today, there’s not a chance. You can’t possibly rig this.”