Due to Golden State’s homecourt advantage, majority of the country’s top coaches are picking the Warriors to repeat as NBA champions against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers when they kick of the Finals today in Oakland, California.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who recently steered the Elasto Painters to their second franchise title by winning the Commissioner’s Cup championship, said that having that edge is important in the series.
“GSW… only because of the homecourt advantage,” said Guiao in a text message, adding that he would not be surprised if it reaches the full route with the Warriors lifting the Larry O’Brian trophy in seven games.
Phoenix Fuel’s newly-appointed mentor Ariel Vanguardia, likewise, is betting on Golden State.
“They got tested by OKC,” said Vanguardia, referring to the Warriors’ spirited comeback in the Western Conference Finals where they rallied from a 1-3 deficit to win in seven games and arrange a rematch with the Cavaliers.
Despite a well-rested roster led by the trio of James-Irving-Love, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said smart money is still on the Warriors.
“It’s a tough call to try and predict it; it’s just for fun. But I hope Golden State wins,” said Baldwin after conducting practice at the Meralco gym in Quezon City.
NLEX mentor Boyet Fernandez and Blackwater coach Leo Isaac are both picking Cleveland because of the presence of Love and Irving – both injured when the Cavs lost to the Warriors in six games last season.
Meralco’s Norman Black, who is from the East Coast (Baltimore, Maryland), is hoping for an Eastern Conference team to win the NBA championship, saying: “I want the Eastern Conference and LeBron to win. It may take them seven games to get it done.”
As for Alaska coach Alex Compton, he is picking both the Warriors and the Cavaliers for two different reasons.
“I do made a bet with (Alaska assistant coach) Jeff Cariaso, who is actually from the Bay Area, so I would say Cavs in six so I can get my bet and get some free food,” said Compton smiling.
Turning serious, Compton picks Golden State, saying “they are awesome.”