Hollins: Cavs Have "Good Chance" In Finals

The talent gap between the Cavs and Warriors isn't as big as media suggest, Hollins says

Tiki and Tierney
May 31, 2018 - 5:28 pm

USA Today Images


The general consensus among analysts is that the 2018 NBA Finals is a complete and utter mismatch, that the Warriors will beat the Cavs with ease due to the massive talent gap between the two teams.

Lionel Hollins, however, doesn’t see that.

“The media sees a big gap in talent, but it’s really not as big,” the former NBA player and coach said on Tiki and Tierney. “You have three stars (for Golden State). Draymond Green is a star, but when you start talking about the Warriors, it’s the three guys that can make threes that can burn you.”

That, of course, would be Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson, all of whom are averaging more than 20 points per game in the playoffs.

“When one of those guys has been in foul trouble or out, they’ve been just a so-so team,” Hollins said. “And when they get in foul trouble or when they’re not shooting the ball very well, they’re very beatable. If I’m Ty Lue, what I’m saying is, ‘I believe that we can win. We have the best player in the game, one of the all-time greats – maybe the greatest.’”

Indeed, James has been otherworldly in the playoffs, with averages of 34.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists. But he needs help. The keys for the Cavs, Hollins said, are to control pace, limit turnovers, and close out on threes – with hands in faces.

“They have really a good chance,” Hollins said of the Cavs. “I think (the Warriors are heavy favorites) because of the notoriety and the sparkling way that (they) play and it’s an exciting style and they shoot 10 feet behind the three-point line and all that. But we can force turnovers against them. We can’t give up easy stuff. The thing that people don’t realize about the Warriors is that even though they’re known for shooting threes, they get a lot of mid-range curls off of jumpers or passes to the bigs and they also get a lot of backdoor layups.”

Hollins said that the Cavs will need stellar performance from Kevin Love, Jeff Green and George Hill, among others.

“We have to have guys that can play well and do what they are capable of doing and what we brought them here to do,” Hollins said, explaining Lue’s mindset.

As for adjustments, both Lue and Steve Kerr will make those throughout the series. But after the first two games, maybe three, there’s no mystery.

“After that, you know each other,” Hollins said. “It’s a matter of execution and a matter of production.”