The Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the Golden State Warriors via an epic comeback in the NBA finals from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA championship and the first championship to Cleveland in over 50 years. This result justified the gutsy move on the Cavaliers’ part to fire David Blatt although they were in first place in the Eastern Conference at the time last season.
Now the Cavaliers go from being the hunters to the hunted. The Cavaliers are the absolute favorite to win the Eastern Conference. There is no doubt in my mind that they will do so.
When you have the best player in the world on your team in LeBron James, all the rest of the pieces just have to fall in place. Other than adding veterans Mike Dunleavy and Chris Andersen, all of the core pieces from last year’s run are in place.
Tristan Thompson will continue to be a menace on the boards. His epic rebounding prowess gave the Warriors fits during their comeback in the Finals, especially when Andrew Bogut went down with an injury during the series.
One can expect Kyrie Irving’s confidence to be through the roof after the series that he has last year. Big time players show up during the biggest games.
Kyrie Irving outplayed MVP Stephen Curry in every form and fashion during last year’s finals. Irving has always had all the tools in the world to be a big-time player. Now that he has learned to win on the big stage, Irving will definitely be expected to take even more of the load off of LeBron James.
As for Kevin Love, he continues to remain a question mark. While Love serves to stretch the floor, he is not worth the salary that he is receiving on his contract. If I’m a Cavs fan, I’m hoping that Kevin Love has an above-average season. In this manner, the Cavs can trade him for some valuable players and future draft picks. I feel that this will help to solidify their future.
There is no long paragraph needed to describe what LeBron James will do. I think most NBA observers know what to expect from him by now.
Will the Cavaliers repeat?
As previously stated, I feel the Cavaliers will win the East again and go to the NBA Finals. No one can challenge them in the Eastern Conference.
I feel we are headed for Cavaliers/Warriors – Part III. With the addition of Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have a squad that is reminiscent of the X-Men and/or Justice League of America. The Warriors have 4 former All Stars and Zaza Pachiula in their line-up.
However, the San Antonio Spurs’ opening night wipeout of the Warriors exposed potential rebounding issues that the team must address. Moreover, the team lacks shot blocking prowess as well.
I’m of the belief that Andrew Bogut’s injury in the Finals was a serious blow to the Warriors. Since then, he has moved on to Dallas.
While the Warriors have only strengthened their perimeter play with the addition of Kevin Durant, I do not feel that they have addressed their issues in the paint adequately enough.
Until the Warriors address their paint problems, I feel that the Cavs will mash them in the paint again just like they did last year. Barring a mid-season trade by the Warriors to boost their paint issues, I feel that the Cavs will repeat as NBA Champs in 2016-2017.