Alright, I know what you're thinking. How are the Cleveland Cavaliers only 5th on my list of teams who can win the NBA Finals? Whether you watch basketball or not, you know who Lebron James is. And whatever team has him should have a great shot at winning the championship. But this season has been quite different, the Cavs and GM Lebron changed more than half of the roster at the trade deadline so these guys have only had about 30 games to learn how to play together. And when you put their roster from top to bottom up against the other top 4 teams, the fifth best odds is pretty fair. But none of this may matter because, as I said, they have Lebron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers just bounced back in a Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers to tie the series up at 1-1. As much as everyone has talked about how much the Cavs roster has struggled down the stretch and in the playoffs so far, they still have Lebron. He started Game 2 on a 16-1 run by himself. The guy has a switch where he can literally just say Hey, I'm going to dominate my opponent and there is nothing they can do to stop me. Unfortunately, basketball is a team game, not a one-on-one matchup.
However, having the best player on the planet gives you a chance to win, regardless of the players around him. Now that Lebron has figured out the Pacers, he will not let his team lose this series. The defensive play has actually been pretty good for the Cavs so far, giving up less than 100 points in both games and 10 points less than their season average. Nobody on the Cavs has stepped up yet, but Jordan Clarkson has proved that he wants to be aggressive. He will continue to push and will find himself getting big time buckets in the clutch. That, plus the improvement of the defense and Lebron scoring 30+ points per game will help them win the next 3 and win the series in 5 games.
The Toronto Raptors are playing with confidence and are already up 2-0 in their series and have had no issues with the Washington Wizards. The Raptors have always looked good in the regular season and in the playoffs, besides against teams that have Lebron. They have, by far, the best roster in the East and has the best chance to knock the Cavs out. The Raptors have the 4th highest scoring offense, and scored 79 points in a half against the Cavs earlier this season. But it won't matter. None of it will. Lebron will only get better as the playoffs go on and will average 40 points per game in this 6 game series. Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. will make it tough on the bigs of the Raptors to stay in their defensive sets and will help stretch the floor for Lebron to drive to the lane. Drake will invite Lebron to his mansion over the summer to try to recruit him.
The last Eastern Conference foe in his way will be the Philadelphia 76ers. The young squad full of playmakers, shooters, and defensive minded guys will make it unbelievably tough on the Cavs. This will be a very high scoring series as the Cavs defense has struggled all season and the 76ers will be too inexperienced against champions like Kevin Love and JR Smith. We saw in their final matchup against the 76ers in the regular season what both of these teams are capable of. The Cavs were down by 30 points and Lebron still found a way to will his team back all the way to the point where one shot could've won them the game. Lebron will take it upon himself to guard Ben Simmons and these guys will battle on both ends of the floor. The two floor generals will both average a triple-double over a 7 game series, but Lebron will rip the hearts out of the 76ers chest when he drops a cold-blooded 60 points in Game 7 to end their season.
Ahh, here we are again. Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Part IV. I can sense the excitement in you right now. Don't you want to see the same thing again?! Well too damn bad because you're going to get it and you're going to get 7 games of it. It will be one of the most perplexing NBA Finals in recent memory. Only Game 7 will be decided by less than 15 points, as every other game will be a blowout by one team or the other. The fact that the Warriors will have their health will only make the challenge that much greater for Lebron, which is exactly what he wants and needs. Although, Kyrie Irving will not be walking through that door, the level play of all of his teammates will account for that. Rodney Hood, Kyle Korver, and George Hill will get hot from three point land in their wins. Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and Larry Nance Jr. will dominate their matchups on the defensive end and will scoop up every rebound possible. Jeff Green, Cedi Osman, and Jordan Clarkson will help facilitate the ball on the offensive end.
And of course, Lebron James will be absolutely unstoppable. The Warriors will gameplay every which way to try to slow him down, double team, triple team, hack-a-Lebron, zone defense, even 6 players on the court. It won't matter. The guy will set the bar even higher for himself in his career achievements as he will average 50 points per game in their wins, including a 55 point performance in Game 7 to hoist another trophy in Oracle Arena. This will cause a shift as the Warriors will decide to blow it up after losing to Lebron again. They will send Klay Thompson to the Los Angeles Lakers and Draymond Green to the Detroit Pistons, making Lebron's offseason choices a little more interesting.
I don't even need to say anything...
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.