Jun. 07, 2016
Can you already hear the excuses?
I'm sorry, but everybody circled around the Cleveland Cavaliers fanbase is probably feeling pretty miserable right now, and rightfully so. I mean, they just rolled through the "much better" east (I'll get to that someday...), sweeping the not ready Detroit Pistons and sweeping the Atlanta Hawks, who were swept the year prior after winning 60 games, so who saw this one coming? And then they managed to tease Toronto, who everybody thought would be swept as well, but they actually put forth a great effort to hold off the Cavs a little longer. So why are the Cavs losing now?
I can hear the excuses coming already. Kyrie Irving never has really had true finals experience before, but neither had Chris Bosh his first year in Miami. Kevin Love got hurt. Again. But he still played all of game 1 and the first half of game 2, which they still lost. Tyronn Lue is a rookie head coach, and yet Steve Kerr was last year. LeBron James is tired after playing in so many Finals in a row, but he also played the least amount of minutes by far in any of his Finals runs. LeBron doesn't have the necessary role players around him, but isn't that always the main excuse? Wasn't that the reasoning for bringing in Timofey Mosgov, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith last year? Isn't that why Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Mo Williams are here this year? Those guys are pretty capable role players to me, at least, and have decent track records of NBA success. Having, Love, James, irving and Tristan Thompson on near-max or max deals makes it very difficult to form a team around LeBron, and only people such as Pat Riley have shown the ability to perform salary cap magic. But these contracts are also the Cavs own doing. In my opinion, none of these excuses are valid, and none would be accepted as an excuse if it was any other team.
How about this for an excuse? It's the only valid excuse out there: this Warriors team might be the best single season team in NBA history. That's all it is. Lesser teams like the Blazers and Rockets didn't really have a chance against them without 2-time MVP Stephen Curry, and the Thunder showed that no lead is too big for the Warriors to overcome. Now the Cavs, who have played through Eastern Conference teams who really are no match for any top 4 team in the west, might just not be prepared for facing this Warriors team.
I'd also like to quickly address Jerry West's comments about LeBron, and I agree with some of them, but the one that really gets to me is when he said LeBron's teams were never favored in the Finals. -_- I'm about to prove you wrong, Jerry. Cleveland vs. San Antonio in 2007 was clearly favored for the Spurs, I get that. 1-0, Jerry West. Miami vs. Dallas in the 2011 NBA finals, the Heat were favored, even though Dallas was the hot team at the time. 1-1. Miami vs. Oklahoma City in 2012, Miami was favored. 2-1, me. Miami vs. San Antonio in 2013, Miami was the defending champs, and in my opinion, that means they're favored. 3-1. Repeat that in 2014, 4-1. Cleveland vs. Golden State last year, the Warriors were favored. 4-2, me. What do you know, Jerry West's knowledge of when LeBron is favored has the same record as LeBron's finals record. Sorry, Jerry, but LeBron was favored every time in Miami, and that was the whole point of taking his talents to South Beach, right?