By KYLE ITO
The 2015 NBA season is coming to a close with the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers playing in the NBA Finals. The path to the Finals for the Cavaliers has been mostly one-sided because they dominated the Eastern Conference throughout the playoffs. For the Warriors, they had to battle against some strong teams in the Western Conference. It was still manageable for them because they were the best overall NBA team going into the playoffs.
The Warriors, the #1 seed of the Western Conference, had 60+ wins in the regular season and made it to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years. Led by 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry and a strong starting line-up and bench, the Warriors are looking to defeat all-star LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Many people have doubted the Warriors after they fired head coach Mark Jackson and hired Steve Kerr, who was previously a commentator for the NBA on TNT. Surprisingly, the first year head coach was able to get the Warriors into the Finals and made them a better team. Kerr, a former NBA player, has championship experience, winning five NBA Championships during his time with the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. He was a runner-up for 2015 coach of the year, falling short to Mike Budenholzer, coach of the #1 seed Atlanta Hawks from the East. This season has been special for the Warriors and it would be even better if they finished it with a NBA Championship.
For many years after the departure of LeBron James in 2010 to the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled with losing seasons. With the much anticipated return of the four-time NBA MVP and the currently widely considered best player in the sport, the Cavaliers are considered one of the best. They struggled a little in the regular season because of a few injuries to players, but have come out strong in the playoffs. Despite the absence of Kevin Love, who dislocated his shoulder in the series against the Boston Celtics, the Cavaliers have still made it to the Finals behind the winning experience of James and support from teammates such as Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Although they were the #2 seed going into the playoffs, they were predicted to make it to the Finals just because of LeBron and his playoff experience. James won two back-to-back NBA championships with the Miami Heat and played in four NBA Finals in total with the Heat.
Despite how the Cavs and Warriors made it to the Finals, they both have equal chances to win the series. The series can certainly go to seven games if both teams play their best. The Finals begin on Thursday, June 4th at 9 PM ET on ABC.