Cavaliers vs. Warriors: 3 questions and a prediction for Game 7 of the NBA Finals

Posted at 9:37 AM, Jun 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-19 21:50:36-04

The Golden State Warriors seemed well on their way toward cruising to a second straight NBA championship.

But the Cleveland Cavaliers had other ideas, becoming just the third team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 finals deficit to even the series at 3-3.

It all comes down to Game 7 in Oakland on Sunday night. 

Here are three questions and a prediction for that game, which begins at 5 p.m. on ABC15.

1. Will the Warriors' home-court edge be the difference?

Teams hosting Game 7 are 15-3 all-time in the NBA Finals and 101-24 all-time in the playoffs. Combine that with Golden State's 50-4 record at home this season, and it's easy to see why the Warriors should be favored.

On the other hand, the Cavaliers are coming off a 15-point victory in Oakland in Game 5, which was the most lopsided home defeat Steve Kerr has experienced since he became Warriors coach. Will Golden State's noisy home fans be the difference this time?

2. Who's the real MVP?

Stephen Curry has won back-to-back NBA MVP awards, and deservedly so. But while he's struggled at times throughout these finals, LeBron James has been the best player in this series, leading all players in points, assists, steals and blocks. 

The Ohio-born LeBron has the added motivation of being one game away from bringing Cleveland its first major sports championship in over 50 years. Will he help the Cavs become the first team in NBA history to win the finals after being behind 3-1, or will Curry restore order at home?

3. As for the supporting cast...

LeBron and Curry both might go for 40 points in Game 7. The question is: Who will receive the most support from his teammates?

For the Cavs, Kyrie Irving has been phenomenal, especially in Game 5 when he matched LeBron's 41 points, and Tristan Thompson has been a double-double machine. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson has had a below-average series but is capable of a 40-point game on any given night, and the defense of Andre Iguodala, who plans to play through back pain, could be essential in limiting LeBron's success.

LeBron and Curry could very well cancel each other out on Sunday night, making this question perhaps the most important of all in determining who takes home the trophy.


Before the series began, I had the Warriors winning in five games. Then, Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5, LeBron and Kyrie had otherworldly performances, and Andrew Bogut suffered a season-ending knee injury.

All bets are officially off.

All the analytics say the Warriors will win Game 7. But these games are played by human beings, not computers. The X-factor in this series is LeBron James and his desire -- perhaps even his need -- to win this series.

He's brought the Cavs and the city of Cleveland this far. Look for him to put them on his shoulders for 48 more minutes and bring some well-deserved joy to Cuyahoga County.

Cavaliers 101, Warriors 98