By Griffin Hill
I nearly replaced “Cavs” in the title of this article with “LeBron” because that’s virtually what we are discussing here; however, I decided to throw some love towards the efforts of Love, Korver and JR, and refer to this basketball team as… well… a team.
I believe LeBron is having the best overall individual season of his career, and somehow this never-ending prime’s “peak” is still going. He is averaging 34, 10, and 9 so far this postseason, all team highs, and is also leading his team in steals and blocks. Not to mention he dropped a quiet 45 points in game 7 of the first round to down the Pacers. With perhaps the most dominant version of LeBron we have ever seen, the Cavs have to be serious contenders… right?
In any other instance yes, but this Cavs team in the first round, outside of the King, was simply pitiful. Victor Oladipo and an unexperienced Pacers roster scored at will against Cleveland, and once again if it weren’t for LeBron’s efforts the Cavs would of been making a first round effort. So what’s the hope?
Well, 4 days ago if anyone would of asked me what I think the Cavs chances are of winning the Finals are, I would of answered slim to none; however, game one and two of the Eastern Conferences Semis in Toronto showed me something to possibly believe in. LeBron played like his usual self, notching yet another postseason triple double in game one, and a 43 point, 14 assist outing in game two, but most importantly the players around him finally came together and helped out.
Kevin Love ended with only 7 points in game one, but had his best game both on the boards and defensively, and in game two he exploded, scoring 31 points. JR finally looked like 2016 JR. Korver hit 6 threes in the these two road games. Thompson and Green have stepped up tremendously, and George Hill, who was absent most of the first round, has been a great help to the back court.
Toronto losing game 1 at home when the Cavs were coming off just a day of rest is absolutely demoralizing to a Raptors fan, and after another saddening performance in game two I don’t think the duo of Lowry and DeRozan can rebound from this loss. Cavs in 4.
After the Eastern conference Semis the Cavs will advance to play the Sixers or Celtics. Both tough matchups, and both without home court advantage. The more favorable matchup for Cleveland, and specifically LeBron is Boston. He has had their number in recent years, and they don’t have the athlete Philly does in Simmons to possibly dethrone James.
Either way I now believe the Cavs reach the Finals, especially if Kevin Love can keep up how he was performing last night. As far as taking down whichever of the Western Conference Super-teams they eventually face, it is going to take the most historic series from LeBron in NBA history. Whether they are granted the Warriors once again or see the new and improved Rockets, LeBron will have to play the best 4-7 games of his life. He is already having one of the greatest statistical postseasons ever, and I would love to see him complete this run by adding another ring to his collection. Time will tell, but just remember to never count out the king.