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Staff Picks: NBA Finals Predictions

Ken "K-Train" Crites

An early RotoWire contributor from back in the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet him @KenCrites or e-mail him at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2015-16 champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.

Nick Whalen

RotoWire's NBA Editor and award winning host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.

Nick

Nick Whalen

Prediction: Warriors in five

Even with LeBron and Kyrie playing as well as they ever have, Iím closer to picking the Warriors in four games than six. Cleveland needed a few breaks to go its way to win in seven last season, and the addition of Kevin Durant wipes away whatever slight advantages the Cavs may have had.

James
James Anderson

Prediction: Warriors in 5

You guys see Deron Williams said he's going to be an MMA fighter when he retires from the NBA? Warriors in 5.

Ken

Ken Crites

Prediction: Warriors in 7

Full disclosure, I lived in Cleveland for six years, though then it was ďWhere-are-the-Browns-LandĒ. I also accurately picked Cleveland in seven games last year. Admittedly, that was a homer pick, hoping the extremely long championship drought would end for The Land. Of course, the Warriors didnít have Durant last year. Remember Harrison Barnes? Me neither. Last year, on the defensive end, LeBron could help others while keeping one eye on Barnes. This year, LeBron will need help to keep up with Durant. Thatís a huge difference. On the other end, we may see more JaVale McGee than expected, as the Warriors try to add extra rim protection to defend Kyrie Irvingís drives and LeBronís post-ups. Could we possibly see a few double-digit point games from Tristan Thompson as he beats up McGee and Zaza on the offensive glass? Cleveland will need extra production from somewhere as Draymond Green frustrates Kevin Love, though keeping Love at the 3-point line will help open the middle for Thompson. And speaking of Thompsons, there will be one game where Klay Thompson lights up J.R. Smith, leading to a lecture from King James.


Shannon

Shannon McKeown

Prediction: Warriors in 5

This is the series we've all been waiting for since the regular season tipped off. Sadly, it won't be any more competitive than the lopsided contests we've seen throughout the postseason. LeBron James will continue to play out of his mind, but it won't be enough to stop a historically good Golden State squad. The 2017 Warriors are better than last year's record-breaking counterpart by almost every measure. The addition of Kevin Durant has made the Warriors an unstoppable juggernaut and one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. Warriors in 5, even if Draymond Green is foolish enough to get suspended for a game again this year.


Ben

Ben Miller

Prediction: Warriors 5

The Warrriors should've finished off the Cavaliers in five games last year, so the addition of Kevin Durant alongside three other superstars in Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson should mean trouble for the Cavs. While I've seen plenty of people get burned in the past (including myself) by picking against LeBron, I just don't see any way he's able to do enough to overcome the insane amount of talent he's going up against. Durant's last NBA Finals appearance was a 4-1 series loss in 2012 to LeBronís Heat, so I'm predicting an extremely motivated Durant has a monster series.

Joel

Joel Bartilotta

Prediction: Warriors in 4

Golden State is on a mission and not even LeBron James can stop them: the Warriors will sweep these Finals and finish the playoffs with a perfect 16-0 record. While LeBron will surely go off, the Warriors just have too many weapons for the Cavs to match up with.

Alex Barutha

Prediction: Cavaliers in 7

There are only two people in the Association who I trust to dismantle the Warriors: Gregg Popovich and LeBron James. Popovich's chance was cut short by Kawhi Leonard's injury, but the Warriors showed weakness before he went down. I still think the Warriors are the best team in the league, but I know that LeBron James is the best player in the world. As good as the Warriors are, I'll believe they can beat the best player in the world in (arguably) his best season ever when I see it, especially with Love and Irving as locked-in as they are right now.