After a less than stellar start, various trades and injuries, and multiple headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers actually look like a team that the best NBA player in the world is playing on. With 12 straight wins in a row, and the team mostly healthy with the absence of Anderson Varejao, the Cavaliers look all but unstoppable. With that being said, it might actually be time to start asking the question we all thought we knew the answer to less than 5 months ago. Are the Cavaliers NBA Finals ready?
Now the record as it stands right now, is not proof of how great this team is or could be, but you can expect it to change with less than half the season left to play. And even if they don’t have the best record by the end of the season, it probably wont change much when it comes to the playoffs. The team with the best record with respect to both conferences has won the NBA Finals 3 times in the last 11 years, 08′ Celtics, 13′ Heat, 14′ Spurs. LeBron James has most likely learned in his 12 years in the league, the regular season means nothing unless you can turn up for the playoffs. And after having the best record in the league twice before when he was on the Cavaliers and not winning a championship in either year, it becomes more evident that the regular season and playoffs are two different animals.
The one invaluable aspect the Cavaliers have right now, is a LeBron James who has been battle tested and can lead and will his team throughout the playoffs. The most important aspect however, is piecing together a team that has the ability to win it all. This is the job David Blatt has to have completed by May if the Cavaliers are to win their first NBA championship ever, and it won’t be easy. Making it out the East will mean having to beat either the Wizards, Bulls, or Raptors, and in a worse case scenario, all three. And upon making it out of the East, facing any of the teams from the West will most likely end up a 7 game series, with all but 1 team in the West having home court advantage. This would mean the Cavaliers would be seeing either the Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Mavericks, Trailblazers, Grizzlies, or the Spurs at their home. And with the Thunder moving up, they could easily be in the mix if the Phoenix Suns fall off. Now the alarms are not ringing yet, but soon, the realization of the tests that lie ahead will begin to sink in to the Cavaliers players and organizations.
So are the Cavaliers ready? My personal opinion, I believe King James will bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy back home to Cleveland. The team has enough talent and grit to get the job done, but only time will tell.
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*Credits to Heather Rooney for the Lebron James Drawing