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2015-16 NBA Finals: Is Golden State vs. Cleveland Inevitable?
By Jacob Brandwein

For those that have been following the NBA this season, its been a competitive start to the season. Particularly in the Eastern conference where more than 8 teams are not seperated by any more than a couple of games from each other. The team however that is the favorite to come out of the East is the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the core of Lebron James, Kevin Love, and when Kyrie Irving comes back to complete the puzzle; the Cavs should emerge as the NBA finals frontrunner. What they did last postseason was unbelievable in itself with all of the injuries, but imagine if they stay healthy this season. However, teams that could potentially compete with the Cavs in the east could be the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat among other Eastern conference teams. I would say the Raptors will compete the closest to the Cavaliers and that will be the Eastern Conference finals. When the Cavaliers get completley healthy, they will be a very tough out.

The Western conference's big headliner is obviously the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. They are off to a record breaking start at 24-1. Will they break the Chicago Bulls 72-10 record? Time will tell as there is still plenty of basketball to be played and the Warriors have yet to get into the meat of their schedule. The top competitors in the west accompanied by Golden State are: San Antonio Spurs, L.A. Clippers, Houston Rockets, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The best team of that group of teams in my opinion are the San Antonio Spurs, they are physical along with experience and can give the Warriors the most trouble. This may sound cliche but I'll say it anyway, defense wins championships. San Antonio is currently the top scoring defense in the NBA to start out the season. The acquisition of Lamarcus Aldridge could really give the Spurs an edge come playoff time. The Rockets are led by star guard James Harden and big man Dwight Howard. The Thunder have their dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back and healthy. The Clippers have Blake Griffin and Chris Paul as well as Deandre Jordan. The Western conference finals at the end of the day however the way I see it right now will be the Spurs vs. Warriors.

As for the Warriors and Cavaliers meeting again in the NBA finals, yes it can very well happen but I don't think its what you call inevitable. There are a lot of variables especially with the NBA as injuries are brutal and its tough to repeat. Of the two teams, I think the Cavaliers have the best chance to make it back to the finals considering they're number one in the East right now without Kyrie Irving. The Warriors can theoretically be considered the favorites of the West at this moment, but I really like what the Spurs bring to the table this season. Yes the Warriors are off to a record breaking start to the season, yes they're 24-1 and on pace to break an all time single season wins record. However, can they maintain this kind of play throughout the postseason when the money is on the line? Can they avoid the big injury that plagued Cleveland against them last year? We will find out as the season goes on.

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