2016 NBA Finals Expert Picks

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots during practice before the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 1, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Warriors will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on June 2, 2016.

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Experts
Picks Overview
  Brandon Tierney Gregg Giannotti Matt Spiegel Adam Kaufman
Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Warriors in 6. Warriors in 7. Warriors in 7. Warriors in 7.
Picks Analysis
Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Brandon Tierney, Tiki and Tierney Show, CBS Sports Radio
Brandon Tierney, CBS Sports Radio
Warriors in 6.
Full disclosure: if OKC buried the Warriors when they had the opportunity, I would have felt a lot more confident picking a winner in this series. I believe the Thunder's length would have neutralized Kevin Love's efficiency on the perimeter and Westbrook's explosion would have ripped right into the relatively soft underbelly of the Cavs defense: the paint. I would have absolutely selected OKC, probably in 6, possibly in 5. However, as amazing as the Warriors regular season was and their impressive comeback in the WCF's aside, this matchup is a tough one to call. The midseason addition of Channing Frye as a stretch 4, along with the spirited and remarkably efficient play of J.R. Smith has added great length to the Cavs' rotation. Tyronn Lue has effectively pushed the pace since taking over for David Blatt, and LeBron James, not Steph Curry, remains the best player in basketball. Yet, it's impossible to ignore just how weak the Eastern Conference is. The Cavs’ main advantage entering the series is that they are rested, and if they don't steal Game 1, this series might not last very long. That's their window to steal a title. Bottom line: I'm pulling for the city of Cleveland. But when it's all said and done, the Warriors punctuate their amazing season by hoisting a second consecutive banner in the East Bay.
Gregg Giannotti, CBS Sports Radio
Warriors in 7.
For some reason, in my head, I keep seeing the Cavs celebrate, but I don't have the guts to pick them. There's just too much pointing towards another Warriors’ victory. I think the Cavs will score and Kyrie and Kevin Love will be consistent offensive weapons, but I foresee doom in their future when it comes to defending this Golden State juggernaut. There's going to be a ton of 3s attempted in this series from both teams, and no one does it better than the Warriors. Classic series, goes the distance, but the Warriors finish off one of the great seasons in professional sports history with another championship.
Matt Spiegel, 670 The Score, CBS Chicago
Warriors in 7.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the greatest shooting tandem in NBA history. And after their spectacular performances in leading the Warriors back in the Western Conference Finals, they'll once again be too much for the Cavaliers. They’ll get the job done in a tightly contested Finals series.
Adam Kaufman, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, CBS Boston
Adam Kaufman, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, CBS Boston
Warriors in 7.
Warriors and Cavaliers for the NBA title. Who in the world would've dreamed that up last fall?! Talent wins out in the Association - it always has, and always will - though we nearly had one heck of an upset in the West Finals, at least until the Dubs started shooting even historically better than their normal historically great selves. So here we are: Who hoists the Larry O'Brien trophy in the next couple weeks? Will Golden State be too tired after chasing 73 wins in the regular season and having to muster every last ounce of strength to recover from their 3-1 deficit in the semis, or will its deep, balanced attack be too much for a healthy Cleveland squad (one year later) to overcome? Is LeBron James still fuming mad he watched Steph Curry be named the NBA's first ever unanimous MVP? There's no question the Cavs are top heavy in terms of their talent, but what's unusual is their best lineup features LeBron and a rotation of players not named Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love. We know those two All-Stars can score (and Cleveland will need 60+ points a game from its trio to win), but how will they defend? Will we see a healthy dose of Matthew Dellavedova again? On the other side of the ball, does Andre Iguodala have any sort of mental edge on James after last spring's success? With both teams so reliant on success from distance this postseason (a combined 27 made 3s per game), which club will get hot, respond better to switches, or have the guts to crash the glass while the other busts free in transition? This series feels impossible to predict, short of it lasting at least six games unless Love dislocates his shoulder or Curry tweaks his knee, ankle, or elbow.