The Byrdbored 2015 Summer replay continues with the Western Conference Finals…..
Golden State Warriors (4-2) over Los Angeles Clippers
Game #1: Golden State Warriors 124, Los Angeles Clippers 97
The Warriors came out on fire and they blasted the Clippers and never really gave them a chance in the game. Golden State led by as many as 27 points and used a 30-14 fourth quarter to completely dismantle the Clips. Stephen Curry led the way with 31 points and 8 assists in the win. Chris Paul struggled with only 6 points on 3 of 12 shooting in the loss.
Game #2: Golden State Warriors 119, Los Angeles Clippers 82
For the second straight game, the Warriors lit up the Clippers. Curry came out even hotter in game #2 scoring 39 points with 5 assists and 5 rebounds, while Klay Thompson chipped in with 24 points. The Clippers only shot 35% in the contest and never led against the Warriors trailing by as many as 37 points in the loss. Jamal Crawford did score 23 points, while J.J. Redick had 21 points in loss, but that was the Clippers only bright spots. Chris Paul, once again, struggled shooting 0 of 6 and only scoring 2 points for the Clippers. Golden State outscored the Clippers 57-28 in the first and fourth quarters.
Game #3: Los Angeles Clippers 114, Golden State Warriors 109
Chris Paul had a major bounce-back in game #3 which helped the Clippers get back in the series. Paul would score 28 points with 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in the win. J.J. Redick chipped in 24 points and Jamal Crawford had 19 points to help propel the Clips into a much needed win. The Clippers would hold off a late run from the Warriors to make it a series.
Game #4: Los Angeles Clippers 110, Golden State Warriors 95
The Clippers defense would be highlighted in game #4 holding Golden State to only 39% shooting. Los Angeles would outscore the Warriors, 32-18, in the fourth period to pull away and even the series at 2-2. Jamal Crawford led the way with 30 points and Blake Griffin had a strong double-double with 26 points on 10 of 12 shooting with 10 rebounds in the win.
Game #5: Golden State Warriors 103, Los Angeles Clippers 101
In easily the best game of the series, Golden State’s defense would be tested as the team would only shoot 35% but still pull out the win. It would come down to a Stephen Curry drive and lay-up that would be the difference. Curry had 28 points on 6 of 11 shooting from 3-point range, with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Klay Thompson had 24 points and 6 assists in the win. DeAndre Jordan was huge for the Clippers with 11 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocks, and Blake Griffin did a little bit of everything with 16 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and 4 steals in the loss.
Game #6: Golden State Warriors 112, Los Angeles Clippers 100
Game #5 might have been the back-breaker for the Clippers as they came out flat in the deciding game. Golden State led by as many as 21 points and never really looked threatened in the contest. Curry and Thompson had 23 points each and paced the team to a series-clinching victory. DeAndre Jordan, once again, played fantastic with 15 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, while Blake Griffin chipped in with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists in the loss.
According to the computer, it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are the two best teams based on conference. Of course, I have never been a fan of the best team in each conference playing each other in the Finals, but I will save that argument for a different time.
This is an even more interesting Final in my computer simulation because both teams are healthy. The problem for Cleveland is obvious. Can they play enough defense to, at least, slow Golden State down offensively? They were able to muck up the games in the real Finals, because of injuries and a much tougher defensive lineup with Tristan Thompson and Delly playing more time. Of course, Kyrie and Love are better players. I don’t deny that! However, the matchup against an explosive offense like Golden State is much harder when you can’t stop them. The difference is Golden State is one of the better defensive teams as well. The Warriors can outscore you and defend and that can be a major problem for anyone.
The fans that actually thought Cleveland could score with Golden State are underestimating the Warriors I’m afraid. The key to me is can the Cavaliers play enough defense, especially on Curry and Thompson, to slow them down enough. If Curry and Thompson are hot, no one beats the Warriors four times in a series.
Another thing I wonder is will LeBron touch the ball enough? The thing about Kyrie being healthy is LeBron will definitely not score as much. That is fine, but he does have to touch the ball and make plays. James has to, at least, be able to create plays for his teammates. James, Irving and Love have played great in my simulation so far though. However, it has been against much weaker teams than the Warriors. You can never underestimate how good the winner of the Western Conference is. The Warriors last two opponents (in the simulation) in San Antonio and the Clippers are both better than Cleveland. Therefore, it will be tough to imagine a different result in the computer Finals compared to real life. Even with Irving and Love, they can’t stop the Warriors enough I’m afraid.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors in five games.