Game 1 will begin in Oracle Arena at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC, and on the morning of the start of the series, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless made their picks on Thursday's special episode of Undisputed, live from Oakland.
The Warriors are hoping to sweep the Cavs
“I’m nervous, because I don’t know right now how it’s going to turn out. I know the Warriors have a bitter taste in their mouths from last year. You win 73 games, you had an opportunity to go down as the greatest team ever assembled, all you had to do was finish it off. You were up 3-1 and you couldn’t get the job done.
So it’s just not enough tobe back here and beat the Cavaliers - they really want to embarrass them. They want to annihilate them. They’re going out to try to make this a four-game sweep.”
Cavs in six
“That’s what they’re trying to do, because they’re trying to send a message. ‘This is what should have happened to you last year. We let you off the hook, but now we’re coming back and we brought a seven-foot sniper, former MVP along with us for the ride.
But you know what, Skip? I’ve been crunching the numbers and I look at Kevin Love, 22 and 12 the last round, the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year he didn’t really do anything in the Finals. Averaged eight points, he did get his double-digit rebounds.
The Big 3 for the Cavaliers are averaging about 80 points a game…. but you know what Skip? I’m going to make you sick. I’ve got the Cavs in 6.”
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
As long as the Cavs have LeBron, they've got this
“You know what, Skip? All these numbers, and I know LeBron is dealing with some things he shouldn’t have to deal with right now, but…. how many Stephens you know? How many Kevins you know? How many Klay’s?
I know one LeBron, and he was born in Akron, and he plays for the Cavaliers. So as long as they got him, they got this.”
Skip Bayless: “Is that all you got? That’s it? LeBron’s going to win it for them?”
Shannon Sharpe: “Skip… see you want to get into all these stats and go all in-between. When you’ve got that guy, Skip, that’s all I need.”
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Warriors in seven
“Unlike the man across from me, I’m going to be objective about this. And I have crunched the numbers, and I’ve had probably too much time to think about it, because I’ve been thinking about it since the Warriors last played - which was 10 long days ago.
But I have come to the conclusion earlier this morning that the Warriors are going to win in seven games. That’s what I got. I got Warriors in seven.
I do not think this is going to be easy, but the reason they are going to win is not Kevin Durant. It’s not Draymond Green. It’s not Klay Thompson. It’s not even Andre Iguodala, the MVP of two finals ago.”
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Curry is healthy, and on one of the best stretches of his career
“It’s going to be because of one little, slender man who wears number 30. That one man, he owes his team the way Draymond owes his team from last year. I have been the biggest Steph Curry fan… I advocated, I beat the drum for Steph Curry to go No. 1 overall in his draft over Blake Griffin, and everybody laughed at me. I don’t think they’re laughing at me right now, because Steph Curry has routinely, consistently and spectacularly been better than Blake Griffin ever thought about being.
Steph’s had his injuries here and there, and I think he did have a knee injury last year that cost him a little bit of his burst and a little bit of his quickness.
He is healthy now. He has played the best stretch of basketball - and he has played some great stretches.”
When Curry is on, he's unstoppable
“He did not look right in the fourth quarter of Game 7 last year. Do you remember this? Steph Curry in the fourth quarter, at his house, scored a grand total in the fourth quarter last year of three points, he has 0 assists, he went 1-for-6 from the floor, and he went 1-for-5 from three. He did not look right to my eye. He looked slightly slower, he looked mortal, to me, and it looked like he was not getting the lift on his three-point shot that he usually got.
This Steph that I’ve seen over this stretch is beyond his unanimous MVP Steph Curry. This guy, over the last month, he is unguardable from three or two or at the basket. He is unstoppable.”
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Kyrie Irving and LeBron will keep this series close
“And I have high regard for the Cavaliers. I’ve been telling you for a week, I think Las Vegas, the oddsmakers, are dangerously underrating the Cavaliers. Because LeBron is the best player in basketball. I’ve told you that from the start, I’m going to give you that.
And we have seen Kevin Love play at the highest level we’ve ever seen him play. And we have seen Tristan Thompson play at the highest level I’ve ever seen him play. He is a load and a beast down low.
And finally, the closer for the Cavaliers, the clutchest Cavalier, is Kyrie Irving. It’s not LeBron James. That’s the man I fear on the Cavaliers. That’s why this is going to be close. That’s why this is going to be knockdown, drag-out, roller coaster ride. This is going to be an all-time great NBA Finals matchup.”