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Posts Tagged ‘Conference Finals’

It's all hugs in Cleveland these days. Though this one's still a little creepy.

It's all hugs in Cleveland these days. Though this one's a little creepy.

Having floated on a marshmallow cloud through the first two rounds of the playoffs, it is reasonable to question how Cleveland will fare when finally tested. The more important question, though, is will they be tested? Atlanta played terribly and Detroit is terrible.  But the upcoming competition isn’t playing up a storm either. Plus, they are now fatigued from battling each other. Cleveland, meanwhile, has yet to play a single superfluous game.

Orlando can’t stop Cleveland and the Celtics won’t. Boston would not have topped Cleveland last year without home-court advantage, and they certainly won’t this year against a Cavs team that has won 43 of 45 home contests this year. KG or no KG, I’m sticking to that statement. No KG, home court won’t even be an issue. Orlando, as well as being weak-willed, does not match well with the Cavs. And they won’t know what to make of all that hustle. The whole team will look like Mo Williams watching Delonte and Kinsey take pictures at Lebron’s MVP ceremony.

How many games can either of these teams take? Two has to be the max, and even that number feels high. One sounds more likely. Zero is totally achievable. Lebron shares the glory with his teammates, not his opponents. Will the Eastern Conference Finals be a test? Only of basketball fans’ abilities to stay awake.

Which leaves us with the NBA Finals as the first potential test for the Cavs. We devoted a whole post to the havoc Houston would wreak on Cleveland. But that was with Yao Ming. The current roster, despite their last performance against LA, is far less scary. Kobe will need every ounce of energy he can muster to fight with Lebron for seven, and given the struggles he still has ahead of him, it is fair to question if he will have enough. And then there is Denver, the hottest team in the West right now. Ask Carmelo how confident he is about squaring off with Lebron every other day for a couple weeks and you won’t have to wait for the long pause, nervous expression, or flop sweat to pass. You’ll already have your answer. That Finals won’t take a couple weeks.

Cleveland is by no means unbeatable. They probably aren’t even the best. But testing them is about more than just favorable match-ups. Cleveland has two things going for them in any series: The best player and the most energy. Thanks to a perfect opening two rounds, Cleveland is perfectly healthy and perfectly rested. The best these others can muster doesn’t appear worthy of Cleveland at their best.  Cleveland can certainly be tested, they can even be beat, but they won’t be.

When the dust finally settles, only Lebron will be left standing.

When the dust finally settles, only Lebron will be left standing.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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