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NBA Finals Q & A With Oliver Maroney of Dime Magazine

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After a great Conference Finals, we did an NBA Finals Q & A with Oliver Marone, who is a writer for Dime Magazine and host of the TheBIG3 Show. You can follow Oliver on Twitter @OMaroneyNBA. Here is the Q&A:

Dylan Burd: Once both Conference Finals series went to Game 7, many thought the Cavs and Warriors would wind up winning, but just how mind-boggling were the horrendous shooting performances of the Celtics and Rockets?

Oliver: Historically awful and unlucky. At halftime, I think we thought we’d be seeing two new teams. But, the teams that had that finals pedigree pulled it out. It’s a 48-minute game and I think both teams will have takeaways to work on coming into next season.

Dylan Burd: The Warriors are -1100 in the NBA Finals. If LeBron finds a way to win this, is he the G.O.A.T? Or is he the G.O.A.T regardless of the outcome?

Oliver: If LeBron beats this iteration of the Warriors, then he should go down as the greatest to ever do it. This Warriors team possesses the greatest starting lineup in NBA history and I don’t think it’s even that close. So, if he were to do it, it would be simply remarkable given he’s in his 15th season and on 100-plus games for this season alone.

Dylan Burd: What needs to happen in order for the Cavs to make this a long series vs. the Warriors?

Oliver: In simple form, the Cavs need to make shots outside of LeBron. Korver, Smith, even Clarkson and Green, they all need to step up offensively. Defensively, I think they need to be as good as they possibly can. They’re not going to stop the Warriors, but if they can have some semblance of effort and hustle coupled with closing out on the perimeter and making life difficult on their guards, I think they could make it similar to this Houston series.

Dylan Burd: Is this going to be LeBron’s last games as a Cavalier? If so, where’s he going?

Oliver: I think so. I don’t know how LeBron convinces himself that this Cavaliers team, as constructed, can get better than where it was with Kyrie and Love. For that reason, I’d assume he’s gone. But, LeBron is an extremely smart and tactical human-being and nothing is guaranteed with him. If I were to guess, I’d say he ends up in Houston or LA. I think Houston makes more sense due to what we just saw. They pushed the Warriors to the limit without Chris Paul for games 6 and 7. I think LA makes sense from a business standpoint. However, I’m not certain it’s the best for winning or his legacy around basketball.

Dylan Burd: NBA Finals prediction. How many games and who’s winning MVP?

Oliver: I think the Warriors win in 6. I expect the Cavs and LeBron to put up a good fight, but this super team with four ultra-talented players is too much for anyone in the NBA. For MVP, I think Stephen Curry has been remarkable since coming back. So I think he’ll be the difference maker in this series.

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