In a season where fans have fawned over individual statistical achievements and continue to overvalue talent (Houston Rockets, John Wall, Milwaukee Bucks), fans have seemingly forgot about one of the league’s consistent performers. No, I’m not talking about the Golden State Warriors, but the Cleveland Cavaliers.
To basketball fans, this is not an outrageous claim. They have all-world talent in LeBron James and that means constant coverage of James, not the Cavs. The Cavs have won their last 11 (!) playoff games, and may just be at 19 by the season’s conclusion. So why am I still writing this article? The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a better place than the Golden State Warriors and the NBA will continue to chase them for the foreseeable future.
The Warriors hailed by seemingly everyone, lost to the Cavs last year in the finals. Now, the Warriors have yet to lose a game this postseason either, so they are a great team too, but the Warriors did not fix their faults from last year’s finals. What key points stick out that changed momentum in that series? Draymond Green’s suspension and Andrew Bogut’s injury. The absence of those big men exposed the Warriors as a streaky jump shooting team.
In response, they added Kevin Durant, accurately described by his nickname “The Slim Reaper”. Another shooter. The Warriors really have not made many changes to the roster. For the Cavs, they have been tinkering with the roster consistently since LeBron James returned for the 2014-2015 season. In the midst of all of these moves, the Cavaliers made their best two moves this year. They added Deron Williams and Derrick Williams. In Deron Williams, they acquired a quality veteran who can let Kyrie Irving sit more and be in better shape at the end of games. In Derrick Williams, they get a role player who can shoot a bit and rebound.
Yes, the Cavs have to play the Celtics. While the Celtics do have the #1 seed, they are not a good rebounding team. They were bullied by Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahimni, who are not exactly elite talent. The Cavaliers should be back in the finals again.
Until the Warriors or any contending team starts adding based on need, there should only be one favorite to win it all: The Cleveland Cavaliers.
By Charles Goldberg Photo Credit: kingjamesgospel.com