Sports

Looking at the Warriors, Cavaliers side-by-side

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) knocks the ball loose from Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) during an NBA basketball game, Jan. 18, 2016 in Cleveland. The Warriors won both of their regular-season games against the Cavaliers this season. The NBA Finals begin Thursday in Oakland.
The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) knocks the ball loose from Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) during an NBA basketball game, Jan. 18, 2016 in Cleveland. The Warriors won both of their regular-season games against the Cavaliers this season. The NBA Finals begin Thursday in Oakland. The Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will reprise their NBA Finals roles from last season beginning Thursday.

The defending champion Warriors will attempt to win back-to-back championships for the first time in the franchise’s history. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games last June, winning the final three games of the series.

The Warriors and Cavaliers met twice this season. Golden State won 89-83 at home on Christmas day, 132-98 in Cleveland on Jan. 18. It’s worth noting that in both of those games the Cavaliers were coached by David Blatt, who was fired four days after that defeat and replaced by Tyronn Lue.

Both teams were at full strength in those games. That wasn’t the case in last season’s NBA Finals, when the Cavaliers played without Kyrie Irving (for five games) and Kevin Love (for the series). Both teams should be at full strength for Game 1 in Oakland.

Here is a comparison of their regular-season and postseason statistics. The Cavs are winning playoff games at more than twice the differential than they did in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Warriors’ shooting percentage (including from three-point range) has taken a slight dip in the postseason.

Regular season

Statistic

Warriors

Cavaliers

Record

73-9

57-25

Points per game

114.9

104.3

Avg. differential

+10.8

+6.0

Rebounds per game

46.2

44.5

Assists per game

28.9

22.7

Steals per game

8.4

6.7

Blocked shots per game

6.1

3.9

Turnovers per game

14.9

12.9

FG percentage

.487

.460

3-point percentage

.416

.362

Free throw percentage

.763

.748

Opp. FG pct.

.435

.448

Opp. 3-point pct.

.332

.347

Opp. average turnovers

13.8

12.9

Postseason

Statistic

Warriors

Cavaliers

Record

12-5

12-2

Points per game

110.9

106.9

Avg. differential

+6.4

+12.6

Rebounds per game

44.6

43.0

Assists per game

25.0

22.9

Steals per game

8.5

7.0

Blocked shots per game

5.4

3.6

Turnovers per game

14.0

11.6

FG percentage

.464

.475

3-point percentage

.403

.434

Free throw percentage

.734

.725

Opp. FG pct.

.418

.451

Opp. 3-point pct.

.342

.340

Opp. average turnovers

15.1

12.4

Compiled by Jeff Caraska

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