NBA Finals 2018: Supporting Casts Breakdown


To no one’s surprise, here we are again for the fourth straight year of Cavaliers and Warriors in the NBA Finals. Although both Conference Finals went seven games, it seemed that LeBron was going to take down Boston with the team on his back and with Chris Paul out, the Rockets seemed lifeless in the second half of both games six and seven. The Cavaliers have a tough task ahead against four all stars, so will the role players be ready for the 2018 Finals? Let’s break it down.

If Andre Iguodala is still unable to play for the majority of this series, the lack of his defensive presence could be volatile for the Warriors. Now, Golden State’s role players play much more specific roles than Cleveland’s. Guys like Quinn Cook, Nick Young, and Patrick McCaw all play under ten minutes a game while Kevon Looney and and Jordan Bell have seen an increased role in Steve Kerr’s rotation. On Cleveland’s side, their strong suit is going to be with their big men. Tristan Thompson will need to have a huge series, probably averaging around twelve boards a game for the Cavs to have any success. As long as a good portion of those boards are offensive, Thompson should have the edge in the paint against Golden State’s “bigs”.

Another role player matchup is between J.R Smith and Nick Young. Both flashy individuals have a knack for shooting obscure three pointers. In the playoffs, J.R Smith is the one who has actually contributed, compared to Young at least. Smith has been averaging 8.5 PPG while shooting under 40% from deep. Young, on the other hand, has offered a whopping 2.9 PPG to the table and shooting around the exact same percentage from downtown as Smith. Luckily, the Cavs have three-point shooting specialist with Kyle Korver who has averaged 45% from deep in this postseason.

I’m interested to see what Shaun Livingston will do in place of the injured Andre Iguodala. His tall and long frame gives him the size edge over guards like George Hill and Jose Calderon. Even though he had only four points in game seven against the Rockets, he’s averaged 6.4 PPG this postseason and has made plays in the NBA finals before in years past. Golden State still has the star power but Cleveland still has LeBron James, so it’ll be interesting to see what role players step up in this series.




About David Fenster

Recent Temple University grad looking to make his mark on the world of sports broadcasting. Host of "The Phifth Quarter Podcast" @thephifthq on Wildfire Radio. TV/Radio personality looking for his big break.

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