At the beginning of the season, the thought of a changing of the guard in the Eastern Conference wouldn’t have been laughed at. Kyrie and Hayward moved to Boston, Toronto seemingly got better with added playoff experience and the Cavs got a whole lot older with the addition of Wade along with an unhealthy Isaiah Thomas.
Yet here we are. For the 4th year in a row, Golden State face off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The changing of the guard wasn’t far off. Boston were flying to start the season with Kyrie leading the way (after Hayward broke his leg in Game 1) and their kids were playing incredibly well.
Toronto looked like world beaters in the regular season with DeRozan and Lowry playing great basketball; they finally seemed to have it all figured out.
Philadelphia were also on the rise, Ben Simmons and Embiid exceeding all expectations of the process, fast tracking it if anything.
All of this was happening, while the Cavs were battling, looking extremely old and slow. So, the GM (LeBron), rang in the changes and brought in some youth. It looked to have worked early on, only to fall apart towards the back end of the season and finish in 4th spot. They were staring down an early exit in the playoffs.
Enter LeBron James.
This was one of the most impressive statistical playoff runs of all time.
Indiana looked the better team all series long in Round 1, but with no playoff experience and no LeBron James on their roster, they were respectfully beaten in 7 games.
Onto Toronto in Round 2. There really doesn’t need to be much more said about this group, they’re just so disappointing in the playoffs and I really feel sorry for their fan base! If they couldn’t beat this crop of players from the Cavaliers, then their run as a top seeded team in the East is over.
Boston took care of Philly in 5, which was a surprise to a lot of people. The kids from Boston with no Kyrie Irving, took a 2-0 lead against the Cavs. Boston had never lost a best of 7 series when up 2-0. Enter LeBron James again.
Game 7 wasn’t overly pretty to watch, but once again James led the way and took another extremely poor Cavaliers team to the NBA Finals.
Do I think the Cavaliers are a chance of winning the NBA Finals? Absolutely not.
Things out West are much tougher. Teams like New Orleans, Portland, Utah, Houston and probably even OKC would’ve handled Cleveland’s business.
The Warriors just have way too much fire power to worry about a one man band.
Someone like Kevin Durant can be thrown on LeBron, his length will instantly worry him. Once Iguodala gets healthy (a big if at this stage), then Cleveland will officially have no chance. He’s a key piece to that Warriors team defensively, further cementing them a cruisy NBA Finals.
Golden State won’t feel sorry for Cleveland if they are giving them a beat down. They’ve given up a 3-1 lead in the past to LeBron, they aren’t going to give him a sniff. Given the unknown status of Kevin Love, there’s only so much LeBron can do. These Warriors aren’t your average Toronto Raptors or Indiana Pacers, or even the kids from the Celtics, they’re the best we’ve seen in a long time!
Verdict: Golden State 4-0