Thursday, June 4, 2015

NBA finals: Who ya got? Ticha, Elizabeth Williams, our players and coaches all have an opinion

Tipoff is tonight and we wanted to know who ya got in the NBA finals. You told us, and it seems like we've got quite a few Lebron and Curry fans in our crowd.

Thanks to all who participated in the LadySwish poll, and it's not too late to weigh in. Tweet us @LadySwish and we'll add you to the list.

"I'm going with Lebron. He's been my favorite since he's joined the league and I'd love to see him do something as spectacular as what's about to happen in taking this team to a finals championship. Sucks bc SC is a close second, but I'm loyal to LBJ.. MVP!!! - Dawn Evans, actress, friend of the blog and a woman who enjoyed a few Curry-like nights herself during her days as a hair-trigger shotmaker at JMU

"Golden State Warriors! And Stephen Curry for MVP!" - Camille Calhoun, VCU forward, team leader in offensive rebounding and, with the transfer of Brittani Burgess, alliteration.

"I think the Cavs will win the NBA finals. I think that this time around LeBron has something to truly motivate him, his city.. I think that Cleveland is really something he's passionate about & really going to give his all for. The past championships he won, he did it to prove people wrong. This championship would truly be something meaningful for him. Ultimately he would also be the MVP. -- Kenia Cole, star guard at Paint Branch High (Md.) and Hampton University, newly-minted HU graduate.

"I think it's going to be a great series, but I give the edge to Cleveland. LeBron is so dominant! - Debra Clark, head coach, Norfolk State

"Mmmm. I really like LeBron, but I don't think the Cavs can hold the Warriors off. Steph would be MVP, too. - Duke grad and Virginia Beach's own Elizabeth Williams, the No. 4 pick in the WNBA draft, now with the Connecticut Sun.

"Steph Curry, because he's unstoppable!" - Macaela Parson, Richmond sophomore guard

Lebron for MVP and the Cavs for the championship." - Nyree Roberts, an ODU great from the '97 NCAA runner-up team

"Steph Curry. He is unstoppable; his shot is automatic;  his hands are great. He's fun to watch! - Autumn Childress, Longwood sophomore guard

Steph Curry MVP and Warriors because his daughter is adorable. Wouldn't mind seeing Lebron though just because everybody said he couldn't do it." -- Nikki Newman, former CAA Defensive Player of the Year and JMU captain, now radio phenom

"I love Steph Curry but I also like Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. Steph is very inspiring and has changed the game because of the many ways he can score and how acrobatic his moves are. Harrrison Barnes is a solid player to me and Green plays hard and never gives up. MVP will be Steph; I believe he will carry his team to a championship." - Brittani Burgess, VCU's loss (transferred after two seasons); UMBC's gain (starting in 2016-17).

"I want the Cavs to win because I love Lebron James. I want him to prove that he doesn't need help to win a NBA championship and to quiet the crowd that he is one of the greatest of all times. If the Cavs don't win and then Steph Curry will be MVP. If Cavs win Lebron will be." -- Jazmen Boone, fearless, versatile ex-William and Mary star who helped lead recent revival of Tribe hoops fortunes.

"I'm going to have to go with the Cavaliers and the best player in the world. At times of adversity, he just puts the whole team on his back, and those guys all go with him. So obviously, I like LeBron for MVP, too." - James L. Flood Jr., CEO/League Operator, 7 Cities Pro-Am Basketball League.

"I go for the Warriors because it's nice to see a young group win it. And MVP to be Steph Curry! - Vanessa Panousis, outstanding combo guard at Virginia Tech by way of Sydney, Australia. G'day, VP!

"I would like to see Steph and Golden State win because I think it would cap off a great year and I don't think he'll get another shot at it." - Amber Nichols, ex-Richmond guard, cousin of Washington Wizards star John Wall and all-around basketball savant.

"I would like to see Golden State win because they are the underdogs and they play together every game. So of course Steph for MVP! - Precious Hall, JMU guard, reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year.

"Warriors and Curry. I'm a fan of the jump shot and his crazy form and a player's overall ability to win games. Curry does that flawlessly. - Liv Healy, Richmond guard (and a pretty fair sharpshooter herself)

"Steph is the most exciting player to watch in the NBA and I think Draymond Green is having a huge impact. Ultimately, are the Cavs riding as high as we think or is this East really that weak? I'm rooting for LeBron and it's hard to bet against him, but I think there's a 51 percent chance the Warriors win (smiley face). - Kate DeSorrento, assistant coach, VCU

"I'm going with Golden State, and Curry for MVP." - Jaclyn McKenna, underrated ex-William and Mary forward.

"Stephen Curry MVP, best shooter. (Warriors) win in Game 7. Deep bench and team plays with passion and energy. Love Coach (Steve) Kerr; great leader and proven winner! - Karen Barefoot, Old Dominion head coach and a woman who knows a thing or two about playing (or doing anything) with passion and energy.

"I'm going with the Warriors...even though they lean heavily on Curry and Thompson. I feel they play more as a team. They have a great supporting cast and on any given day either can give you 20-plus. I love the tempo they play with getting the ball up the floor. They play bothe ends of the court as well. I'm a huge Steph Curry fan - I love me a good shooter with great footwork. So I'm pick Curry as MVP - but I think (the series) is going seven. - Kim McNeil, Virginia assistant coach, mother of twins Cayden and Gabrielle, husband to fellow U.Va. assistant Cory (items not necessarily listed in order of importance).

"I have the Cavs, LeBron for MVP!" - Taysha Pye, gifted former William and Mary star now playing for pay in Italy.

"I want LeBron James and the Cavs to win...but the Golden State Warriors will. They have a deeper bench. I think Green can limit LeBron's post-up game. Klay (Thompson, if cleared to play) will get hot and be MVP of the Finals. Otherwise, Steph will be MVP." - Jen Brown, assistant coach, JMU

"I'm going with Golden State and Stephen Curry for MVP!" - Becca Allison, speedy former Old Dominion guard and current assistant coach for surprise Southland Conference tournament finalist Houston Baptist.

"I like both teams. In my opinion they were the two best teams in the league this season. I really like the style of play of the Golden State Warriors, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have a player named LEBRON JAMES who is the best player on the planet right now. And I don't see anybody on the GSW squad that can stop him. That said, I pick the Cavs. - Mery Andrade, heart and soul of the Portuguese Connection-led powerhouse Old Dominion teams of the late 1990s.

"Cleveland. And LeBron for MVP. Because he's won two championships. He's been to the Finals, won MVP, and you have to beat the best 2g2 the trophy. I wouldn't bet against him right now. But someone said this to me today - there's nothing to dislike about either team. It's a win-win." - Morgan Valley, three-time NCAA champion guard at UConn, current Virginia Tech assistant and owner of a truly great name.

"Cleveland! (The Cavaliers) are playing good basketball offensively and defensively, with the league's best player on the team. I don't think Golden State has enough to beat the Cavs top to bottom." - Shavon Earp, former star at Pitt and Radford and current assistant at perennial MEAC contender North Carolina A&T

"Warriors! I lived in the Bay Area for six years so I want to see them win." - Rachael Bilney, former Richmond sniper who once buried a school-record eight 3-pointers against George Washington.

"I have Golden State winning. (Steve) Kerr is a well-rounded coach who understands the delicate balance of a championship team. Not to mention he learned from the best in Phil Jackson. Not to mention he's a phenomenal motivator and strategist. Curry for MVP, although Golden State has important other pieces. Curry win hit big shots and make big plays." - Jen Wedo, assistant coach, William and Mary

"I really want Golden State to win and Curry to be the MVP, but if I was betting and not going with my heart I think the Cavs will win and LeBron will be MVP." - Beth O'Boyle, head coach, VCU

"Golden State Warriors because Steph Curry deserves a ring. Curry for MVP, too." - Taylor Brown, high-scoring George Mason guard, the Steph Curry of the Atlantic 10.

"I'm thinking the Warriors will take it with Steph being the MVP." - Sarah Williams, ex-JMU star, current Dukes assistant and former teammate of Elena Delle Donne at Ursuline Academy.

"The Warriors, because I'm not a LeBron fan. And Steph for MVP." - Jayda Worthy, Radford forward and one of two Highlanders (along with Janayla White) to make the Big South All-Freshman team.

"Cleveland in six...The King is the MVP! As you can see, I'm a huge LeBron fan! I just believe this is too big for him to lose. It's almost storybook." - Jermaine Woods, assistant coach, Old Dominion.

"I think the Cavaliers will win. LeBron is unstoppable. I don't think anyone from the Warriors can keep up with him." - Barbara Burgess, formerly the Chris Dailey of Hampton, now the Geno Auriemma of Delaware State (or better yet, the David Six of Delaware State)

"The Cavs will win in six games, maybe seven. In my opinion, they will win because LeBron is playing a consistent all-around game. Also, the Cavs have more offensive threats and with Tristan (Thompson) playing so well, he will be a problem for GS. LeBron for MVP. - Tia Lewis, ex-Old Dominion standout who has taken her talents to Denbigh High as the school's new head varsity girls basketball coach. Teach 'em, Tia!

"Matchups make fights.Cleveland has LeBron and Golden State doesn't. Simple. Plus the supporting cast has really stepped up for LeBron. If they defend the three of Golden State then they win. They also don't have to worry about playing against a big man down low because neither team has a low-post threat. - Brian Davis, Hampton assistant and sharp-dressed man with no dog in the fight - he's a Lakers fan.

"I believe Golden State will win because shooting (skill) can overcome a multitude of sins. Curry for MVP; LeBron and the Cavs get theirs in 2016! - Michael Shafer, Richmond head coach and orchestrator of a squad that, at times, does a pretty fair Golden State impression on offense (starring Janelle Hubbard in the role of Steph Curry. Lauren Tolson, you're Klay Thompson. Splash Sisters, anyone?).

"I think it will go to Game 7 for sure. I'm thinking matchups and coaching. LeBron said he's is playing his career best. But I love Curry and the way the Warriors move the ball. Final thoughts - Warriors in seven games. MVPS - Stephen and Riley Curry. I am looking forward to Riley's championship post-game speech. - Millette Green, William and Mary assistant.

"I am riding with the Cleveland Cavs and the experience of LeBron James being on the court. His presence will always give them the best chance to win. The MVP should go to the person that makes every play a matchup problem. The Cavs play great pressure defense, push the ball and score in bunches. LeBron is consistent with putting pressure on the defense by attacking the basket. Cavs win and LeBron is MVP! - Tim Valentine, Hampton assistant.

"I have Cavs in 6 -- Lebron for MVP!" - Ticha Penicheiro, All-American point guard at ODU and all-time WNBA assist leader who would love to feed Lebron or Steph in the post.

"Steph Curry! Because he's hungry!" - Aisha Foy, All-Big South point guard (second team) gearing up for her senior year at on-the-rise Radford.

"I believe that Cleveland will be named champions and that LeBron will be the MVP." - Trina Patterson, assistant coach, Old Dominion

"I'm going with Golden State in 7. I think they have too many weapons offensively and Steph Curry as MVP. My prediction is he will hit a game winner in Game 7 and hit multiple big shots like he has done throughout the entire finals. Lebron will be a tough matchup, but they will rotate and defend with different guys just like they did in the Houston series. I think it will be a great finals!" - Fran Recchia, assistant coach, Radford

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