The NBA playoffs come down to matchups — and that's doubly true in the Finals.
Successful teams find a mismatch, exploit it until the opponent adjusts, then rinse and repeat on their way to claiming the Larry O'Brien trophy.
So with that in mind, we're running through the tale of the tape for "Cavaliers-Warriors III: The Reckoning," from comparing each starting position to the coaching staffs to the biggest Finals x-factor.
Which team stacks up best — and who wins the title? Keep reading to find out.
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Starting point guard: Warriors
Sorry, Cavaliers fans. Kyrie Irving is fantastic, and he has a knack for making the poor fools who call him overrated look like morons. With that said, Stephen Curry is the better overall player — for the first 46 minutes or so of the game, anyway.
The margin is incredibly slim, but Curry wins out in scoring, scoring efficiency, assist percentage, and steals, with Irving holding the advantage in turnovers.
As for Irving's performance in the clutch? Don't worry; we'll get to that in a moment.
Starting shooting guard: Warriors
Klay Thompson vs. J.R. Smith is the most lopsided matchup in this entire series. There is some upside for Cleveland, however, as the Warriors have failed to make sure Thompson stays involved in the offense this postseason.
Smith, on the other hand, always ensures he's in the middle of the action, one way or another.
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Starting small forward: Cavaliers
The Warriors list Kevin Durant as their nominal SF, so he draws the unfortunate matchup with LeBron James in our tale of the tape.
Really, though, the two forward spots are a wash. Cleveland wins whichever position LeBron plays, while the Warriors claim the advantage in the Kevin Love matchup.
... Oops. Was that a spoiler?
Starting power forward: Warriors
Yep, total spoiler.
Draymond Green beats out Kevin Love every time, no matter how well Love is playing of late. The Warriors forward's versatility and defense simply outshine Love's 3-point shooting and rebounding.
Starting center: Cavaliers
One center, Tristan Thompson, stays on the court when the game is on the line in the closing minutes. The other, Zaza Pachulia, ends up on the sideline as the Warriors rely on their small-ball unit to win games.
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Starting lineup: Warriors
Cleveland has one advantage over Golden State in the starting five, which is continuity. The Warriors are still figuring out how to maximize everyone's contributions with four All-Stars, three of whom need the ball in their hands to succeed.
The fact Golden State has been this successful already is the truly scary part.
The Cavaliers have more depth from a pure numbers standpoint — Richard Jefferson, Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Iman Shumpert and Derrick Williams all can provide Cleveland spot minutes, and their overlapping skill sets allow Tyronn Lue to ride the hot hand on a given night.
We're giving Golden State's reserve unit a slight edge, however, because the upside for Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston is slightly higher, with Iguodala's role in the Warriors' lethal small-ball lineup the deciding factor.
Coaching staff: Warriors
We're including Steve Kerr because he continues to contribute to Golden State's game plan, despite lingering complications from back surgery, but Mike Brown is a good enough coach to win this category on his own.
He's adaptable, as he's shown with his willingness to let the Warriors run more pick-and-roll, and he's an underrated defensive coach as well.
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3-point shooting: Cavaliers
A few of these categories simply boil down to the math, and while you might assume the Warriors are the more prolific 3-point-shooting team, Cleveland actually surpassed Golden State in 3-point attempts, makes, and percentage in 2016-17.
The cumulative output of the Cavaliers' sharpshooting wing reserves outweighs the Warriors' love for the long ball, if only barely — and Cleveland will have to win the shooting battle to have a chance at defending its title.
Jason GetzJason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Overall offense: Warriors
The Warriors and Cavaliers were two of the three best offenses in the NBA this season, with Golden State scoring 113.2 points per 100 possessions to Cleveland's 110.9, per NBA.com.
Truly, Stephen Curry's squad excels in every facet on offense, but the Warriors do have one weakness: turnovers. Golden State can get sloppy with the ball when it's in a hurry to get out in transition or when shots stop falling for a prolonged stretch, and Cleveland is ready to capitalize on those extra possessions.
Overall defense: Warriors
The Warriors are heavy betting favorites headed into the Finals, and for that, they can thank their defense.
Golden State was second to only San Antonio this year, allowing 101.1 points per 100 possessions, while Cleveland finished 22nd with a 108.0 defensive rating.
The Cavs have been better this postseason, surrendering 104.6 points per 100 possessions, which is good for third in the playoffs. Whether that's good enough to take down the Warriors remains to be seen.
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Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are the two best rebounders in the series, and the Cavs will need to lean on offensive rebounding to make up for their subpar defense.
The advantage might not be as pronounced as you think, however. Both Cleveland and Golden State finished in the bottom 10 in defensive rebound percentage this season, separated by less than one percentage point.
Clutch scorer: Cavaliers
The Warriors are lucky to have three guys who can get buckets with the game on the line — Curry, Durant and Thompson — but none of Golden State's scorers are as dangerous individually in the last five minutes as Irving.
As LeBron James' longtime business partner, Maverick Carter, told Chris Broussard this week, the playoffs are about being able to get a bucket with the game on the line, and Irving has mastered the art of scoring in isolation.
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Home-court advantage: Warriors
The Q is a rocking home atmosphere in its own right, but it's tough to top Oracle Arena when the Warriors are rolling. The acoustics and design of the building cause the sound to build and build and build until it reaches a deafening roar, while the Oakland fans are all about supporting their team through thick and thin.
There was a time when LeBron James was the ultimate villain. No self-respecting NBA fan wanted to cheer for him.
Then, the Golden State Warriors came along, whining their way into our collective hatred and turning LeBron's Cavaliers into sympathetic figures.
Of course, if you want to go ahead and despise both teams, we won't stop you.
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Biggest x-factor: Cavaliers
Usually, a series x-factor refers to the unheralded role player who can swing a game or two if everything lines up perfectly.
There's no bigger x-factor in the NBA than LeBron James, though. When he plays like the greatest of all time, the Cavaliers have a chance against anyone — including the most talented superteam in history, these Warriors.
If Golden State can figure out how to slow LeBron in the slightest, Golden State will win this series in four or five games. But I've counted out The King before. I won't make that mistake again.