The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world with over $5 billion dollars worth of revenue generated globally. Earlier this year, LeBron James announced his intention to leave Cleveland for Los Angeles and form a team with former teammate Dwyane Wade called “Team LeBron”. A new season begins on October 17th but already one player has emerged as an early favorite- Stephen Curry. While most would consider him highly unlikely to surpass James’ new team, he’s given no indication that he won’t accomplish what many believe impossible.
In the “lakers vs warriors” match, LeBron James and Stephen Curry have been at odds for a long time. The two teams have had some legendary matches in the past, but who will win this one?
LeBron James and Stephen Curry have been the most influential players in the NBA over the last decade, with LeBron winning four championships and Curry winning three. Not to mention the fact that in the last 11 years, 10 Finals matchups have featured either LeBron James or Stephen Curry. Looking ahead to next season, both superstar players will have excellent supporting casts to help them win another championship.
However, when looking at their all-time colleagues, it is evident that they have had the support they need in the past to become winners. Here’s how each team would do in a best-of-seven series if each superstar was pitted against their best-ever teammates in a 5-on-5 game.
Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving
LeBron James was lucky to have a strong go-to scorer in the form of Kyrie Irving in his peak. Kyrie is the finest ball handler we’ve ever seen and one of the players that coaches put their faith in when the game is on the line. Kyrie is as effective as they come, as he demonstrated in the 2016 Finals when he made the game-winning shot against Stephen Curry.
Curry, as good as Kyrie is, is the greatest point guard in the league. He won’t be able to stop Kyrie from scoring, but his three-point shooting will be a major concern for Team LeBron. When Kyrie gets hot, Curry will be able to match him on offense, only that the Golden State Warriors legend will always count by threes. In this encounter, Team Curry has a slight advantage.
Klay Thompson vs. Dwyane Wade
Slashing vs. shooting is the basis of this contest. Dwyane Wade is one of the finest slashers in NBA history, able to get to the rim with his tremendous speed and ball-handling. In Team LeBron’s offense, Wade’s ability to finish in traffic while simultaneously running the floor will be the most important component. Not to mention the fact that Wade and LeBron are great running partners and will have the finest chemistry on the court.
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry will make a formidable combo, as their shooting will be the team’s most difficult to stop. Klay, like Curry, doesn’t need much room to unleash a precise jumper from beyond the arc. Klay will compensate for Curry’s defensive flaws as well. On both sides of the floor, this battle is incredibly exciting, but Wade is the superior all-around player.
Andre Iguodala vs. LeBron James
Any team will find it difficult to match up with LeBron James since he has all of the necessary skills. He is a physical specimen who is both the most powerful battering ram to the rim and the most intellectual player on the court. LeBron understands that he has some of the greatest scorers of all time on his team and will do his best to put them in situations to win.
Meanwhile, Andre Iguodala will use his All-NBA Defensive skills to slow down and annoy LeBron, allowing Team Curry’s shooters to become hot. In the 2015 Finals, Iggy earned Finals MVP by stopping LeBron from winning the series on his own, and he’ll have to do it again this year.
Kevin Durant vs. Chris Bosh
Although Team Curry has a particular skill on their side, this contest is about two finesse offensive talents. Chris Bosh is a conventional power player who contributes on both ends, but his mid-range and three-point shooting is what makes him stand out. Because he is effective and has a large repertoire of maneuvers, Bosh is an excellent third option when the big guns need a possession off.
Kevin Durant is a very different beast than Chris Bosh. Durant is the NBA’s most complete scorer because he can score from every spot on the floor. Even though Curry and Klay Thompson are somewhat better three-point shooters, Durant can drive, shoot over any defender, create space, and has proved to be more clutch. He will be the most important part of Team Curry’s offensive, forming a powerful Splash Brothers trio alongside Curry and Klay.
Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis
As good as Green is as a defender, this is a huge advantage for Team LeBron. Anthony Davis is a fantastic offensive player, and his height offers him a significant advantage against Draymond Green, who is much smaller. Davis, a 6’10” big guy with guard-like abilities, will have the upper hand against Green, who is 6’6″. Most importantly, LeBron James will give Davis the confidence he needs, even if he begins getting roughed up by Draymond Green.
Green, on the other hand, has been one of the greatest defenders in the league for the last decade, and his passion to earn stops is maybe his best quality. Davis, on the other hand, has a lifetime scoring average of 23.9 points per game, so even the past Defensive Player of the Year Award winner will have difficulties defending his attempts. Team LeBron enjoys a significant lead against Team Curry because to Davis’ dominance in the paint on both ends.
Advantages of LeBron’s Team
With wild abandon, Team LeBron can sprint, score at the rim, and dominate the post. It’s incredible how well-rounded the team is, and the caliber of teammates LeBron has had is worrisome. The King will select his areas in the half-court and let the bigs to feast. LeBron will be the key playmaker for Irving and Wade on the whole court.
Team LeBron also enjoys a defensive edge. Wade and Davis are two great defensive players who can shut down opponents. James can also defend the perimeter, and his sheer size will help slow down a thin Kevin Durant. It will be difficult to compete with Team LeBron in terms of basketball IQ.
Advantages of Team Curry
Team Curry has a tremendous shooting advantage, which means they can defeat a team with larger players. Three points are worth more than two, and their tendency to become hot means that if the shots start falling, Team LeBron might be swept. Basketball, on the other hand, seldom works out that way.
Curry, Thompson, and Durant are the best shooting three in NBA history, and players like Iguodala and Green will give them the energy to unleash loose. Green and Iguodala will be tasked with guarding Davis and LeBron, but the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year will also play point center. Team Curry may not be able to meet up in stature with Team LeBron, but they can match up offensively.
Who Will Win A Best-of-Seven Series?
In a best-of-seven series, the advantage will be decided by the tiniest of margins. Game 1 is all about Team Curry, who shoots 39% from three-point range and blows away the opposition in the third quarter with a 24-12 run. Team LeBron has to make changes after Durant, Curry, and Klay combined for 12 three-pointers in the game.
Team LeBron wins the matchups in Game 2, with Kyrie finding it simple to score on Curry and LeBron taking control of the offense. The two score 55 points together, almost outscoring Team Curry’s trio. Team LeBron wins 99-90 in a low-scoring contest. Kevin Durant scores 40 points in Game 3, including a game-winning three-pointer in overtime to give the Warriors a 3-point victory.
As predicted, Team LeBron makes changes, and the fast-break becomes the game’s most important component. Davis blocked five shots in the game, enabling LeBron to sprint and find Wade for a total of 10 fast-break points. Kyrie and Wade’s passing and off-ball movement will be too much for Team Curry to handle, and they will lose Game 4 112-103.
Team LeBron also wins Game 5, taking a commanding 3-2 lead. The bigs are the most important players in the game, and they wind up being the most important players in the series. On an effective 52 percent shooting night, Davis and Bosh combined for 44 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Because of the bigs’ domination, Draymond Green expels a lot of energy on defense, and there isn’t enough to counter them.
Game 6 is a nail-biter, with Klay Thompson’s game-winning shot in the corner deciding the game. The game goes back and forth in the fourth inning. Durant forces a jumper with 10 seconds remaining on the clock, only for Green to smack it away for Curry. Wade jumps for the ball and knocks it out of Curry’s hands, allowing the ball to roll to Thompson, who takes a fast step back before hitting a three-pointer to force a Game 7 in the series.
Team Curry has run out of gas after exerting so much energy in the past two games. To establish the tone, Team LeBron is deliberate, focused, and aggressive early on. No player shoots less than 45 percent, averages 75 percent from the free-throw line, and seldom misses open opportunities. Curry and Durant score 60 points combined, but they are inefficient and can’t keep up with LeBron’s pick-and-choosing. James drops a triple-double to earn Finals MVP and seal a memorable victory in Game 7 by feeding the bigs and his scorers.
Final Score: 4-3 for Team LeBron vs. Team Curry.
LeBron James is the Finals MVP.
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