How likely is 16-0 for the Warriors?

Photo Credit: SB Nation

No team in NBA history has ever won the NBA championship after going through the entire NBA playoffs without losing a single playoff game. But the Golden State Warriors enter this season’s NBA Finals matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 12-0 playoff recordhaving swept the Portland Trail Blazers, the Utah Jazz, and the San Antonio Spurs up to this point in time. How likely is it that the Warriors will sweep the Cavaliers to go a perfect 16-0 in this year’s playoffs?

Winning four games in a row is not something that the Warriors have struggled to do. In fact, they are currently on a 13-game winning streak dating back to the regular season. While winning four games against the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers may be a challenge, past history tells us that it is not as unlikely as it seems.

In the 2015 NBA Finals, the Warriors got down 2-1 to the Cavaliers and rallied back to win three games in a row to win the championship. The following season, the Warriors won both regular season games against the Cavaliers and took the first two games in the NBA Finals, giving them an extended 7-game winning streak over the Cavaliers. By this logic, four games in a row shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the Warriors to win, even over the Cavaliers.

This year’s Warriors team is as good and as stacked as it’s ever been. While they only (only…right) won 67 games this season, a total tied for their lowest total in the past three seasons (low…right), this Warriors team unlike any in the past is composed of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant. Not only are all four players All-Stars, but the past three NBA MVP awards have gone to players currently on this team. Stacked.

Meanwhile, on the Cleveland side, this is actually the weakest Cavaliers team of the past three seasons. The team’s 51 regular season wins are the lowest with LeBron James on the team since the 2007-2008 season, granted he did go to Miami for four seasons. It even got to the point that LeBron was calling for the Cavaliers to pick up a playmaker to help the team out, and they ultimately ended up unable to capture the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

While the raw odds of winning four games in a row is 1/16 if both teams have a 50% chance of winning each game, the Warriors look like a much better team than the Cavaliers and have a much better chance than that at running the table and becoming the first team in NBA history to sweep their way to an NBA championship. But as for now, both teams are on even ground tied at 0 games apiece, and the Warriors are four wins away from making history.

 

-Asher Fair

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