The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the NBA playoffs April 15 with a surprisingly difficult one-point victory at home against the Indiana Pacers.
It was the first of 10 consecutive playoff victories for Cleveland. When the Cavaliers finally lost a game last week in the Eastern Conference finals, some fans began to ask: What’s wrong with Cleveland?
There’s been an inevitable predictability to these playoffs, a predictability that has lingered since the season began more than six months ago. The only reason Cleveland’s playoff loss to Boston last week stood out is because the Golden State Warriors have yet to lose. They've won 12 straight playoff games. They are superb. The Cavaliers might merely be very good.
The question is whether the Cavaliers can hang with the Warriors. In Lebron James, Cleveland obviously has the best player in the game.
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For the Cavaliers to have even a chance, LeBron is going to have to be the best player almost every time he steps onto the court. If teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are off, Cleveland doesn’t win.
If the finals are one-sided, the playoffs will have been a disappointment. But if the Cavaliers push the series to six games or seven, this saga of a season will be memorable.