They say that in this 2015 NBA Finals between the Cavaliers of Cleveland and the Warriors of Golden State the really key players for both teams are not whom we think they are, but how can that be? If you Bet on NBA at a Sportbook, then read on before you make your bet!
There no question that the media for sports will center their attention in the 2015 NBA Finals Series of 7 Games will center their attention on the 2015 NBA MVP S. Curry of the Warriors and 2 time NBA Champion L. James in their exciting matchup in these finals. Each player has performed spectacular during these playoffs and more than likely their performances will continue throughout this 7 Game Series.
However the team that wins this Series and the 2015 Title may not decided based on the performances of these superstars, who without a doubt will score their points, rebounds and assists, but the standouts for winning or losing will come from a important role player who will play, either above or below his abilities. Now having made that huge statement, let’s take a look at one such player for both the Cavaliers and the Warriors, and how they could change the outcome for their team.
Let’s start with whom we thing is a key role player for the Warriors, and that being Harrison Barnes, who could be one of Lebron’s main defenders in this series. The main man is likely to be D. Green to defend LeBron, but Barnes will get a lot of minutes in that same role, along with K. Thompson and A. Iguidola. When both team start big Barnes will guard LeBron, and when they change to their 3-point lineup in the Warriors small ball four schemes. In the last round of games Barnes had guarded J. Harden and fared well in those games. However, LeBron is another situation as Barnes needs to take his place in the post in order to keep the Warriors from having to double team LeBron, as they could be picked apart, as we saw take place with the Atlanta Hawks.
If the Cavaliers put Irving on Barnes, the bigger Barnes can dominate Irving, as it’s not a secret that Irving has some lower body parts, and Barnes can punish him more, and forces the Cavaliers to make other adjustments on defense. Barnes is a very quiet and low key player, who has had a decent playoff to date, averaging 46% on attempts and 11 points per game. His best game offensively was the 5th game against Houston when he made 10 of his 20 shots on field goal for 24 points in the game. If you forget for a moment about Curry and Thompson, then Barnes is the next best thing on offense, and be assured he will be called on in this series to provide an additional spark on offense.
Then for the Cavaliers of Cleveland their key player is most certainly Iman Shumpert who has performed excellent to date in the playoffs. Yes, Shumpert is the player who leads in net rating for the Cavaliers in the playoffs to date, over JR Smith and LeBron. We are not saying he’s a superior player to LeBron, but this statistic tells on how much value Shumpert has this postseason on both ends of the court, and is expected to continue that in these 2015 Finals.
The Cavaliers call Shumpert on defense their Swiss Army Knife with his talent and flexibility. He was given his role over Smith due to his defensive readiness, and will be looked upon to guard against non other the S. Curry of the Warriors in this Series. But as the Cavaliers are aware of all the shifting the Warriors do, Shumpert will likely see time guarding all of the perimeter players of the Warriors in this Series.
Shumpert can be used a floor spacer that can be deadly, as he can be an integral player for the Cavaliers and their small ball scheme that has been hot in these playoffs. Thus, Shumpert made 44% of his 3-pointer in their series against the Hawks, and LeBron found him open on many occasion amid the double team defense LeBron faced against the Hawks. If the Warrior are forced to double team LeBron, then Shumpert with his talent outside of the arc can make the Warriors pay with his deep scoring abilities.