After much turbulence in a season where the head coach was fired halfway through and rumors swirled about the team being dissatisfied, things eventually settled. After finishing the season with a 57-25 record, which was best in the East, the road to glory started off with a first round matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Despite being swept, the Pistons put up a fight and didn’t score less than 90 points in any of the games. Even with the physical play of Andre Drummond, the 3-point barrages by Tobias Harris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the Jedi mind tricks by Stanley Johnson, the Pistons weren’t able to stop the steamrolling Cavaliers.
Next, came a personally favorite opponent, the Atlanta Hawks. I absolutely relish playing them because Twitter becomes a war zone between Cavaliers fans and Al Horford’s sister, Anna. After nasty comments made by Anna directed towards the people of Ohio, Cavaliers fans were more than happy to show her the error of her ways. So were the Cavaliers. Despite being the fourth ranked team in the East, the Hawks fell without much of a fight. It was a series in which the Cavaliers set three-point records and crippled any hopes the Hawks had of surviving the offensive onslaught. After a quick sweep, the Cavaliers awaited their next opponent.
That opponent turned out to be the Toronto Raptors. Reaching the conference for the first time in franchise history, the Raptors were eager to show the NBA that they belonged with the big boys. After two quick wins for the Cavaliers in Cleveland, the series shifted north of the border. That’s where things got messy. An anemic Cavaliers team, coupled with a scorching hot Raptors offense led by Kyle Lowry, handed the Cavs their first two losses in the postseason. Panic hadn’t set in among the fans, but some concerns were had. Regardless, these concerns were put to bed when Toronto seemingly ran out of gas for the next two games and were promptly dispatched from contention.
Now, here we are. A chance to end the devastating Cleveland sports drought that has cast a shadow over multiple generations of fans. It couldn’t have come against a tougher opponent, a Golden State Warriors squad which posted the greatest regular season winning record in league history, with a remarkable 73-9 record. But, this is not the regular season. After almost succumbing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had the Warriors on the ropes with a 3-1 series lead, Golden State stormed back to win the series. While they may have won the series, it showed the NBA that Golden State was human after all.
Last season, the Cavaliers put up a valiant effort against Golden State in the finals without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. While missing key members to the team and squaring off with a full-health Warriors club, the Cavs managed to take the series to game 6. Now the Cavaliers have a clean bill of health, are experienced, well-rested, and ready as ever to show the Warriors what could have been had the team was at full strength. Led by LeBron James, a healthy Irving and Love, a hot-shooting Channing Frye and J.R. Smith, and a smart basketball IQ by coach Tyronn Lue, the Cavs have the means to take the crown. Nobody said this would be easy. Golden State is an insanely talented team that can run up the score in a hurry. But we are not the underdogs here. This is a clash of superpowers, Godzilla vs King Kong, America vs the Soviet Union, Superman vs Goku, what have you. Both teams have their own unique advantages to bring to the table. I can’t lie and guarantee the Cavaliers are going to win. But we have just as good a chance to win as they do. Put your faith into the team and enjoy the ride, because Cleveland may finally clinch that elusive championship.