The Cleveland Cavaliers earned a convincing 4-0 series clean sweep against the Detroit Pistons in the opening round of this year’s NBA playoffs but can LeBron James and co. go on to win the title? Well, they’re certainly hitting form at the right moment and the Cavaliers definitely have enough star quality to challenge the likes of Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs for the crown. If nothing else, Cleveland have difference-makers on both sides of the ball and their top talents can more or less win matches by themselves when they are at their very best.
With the Golden State Warriors on the cusp of securing their place in the next round of the playoffs, Cleveland will have it all to do if they are to emerge victorious at the end of what could be a gruelling postseason. The Cavaliers have a much easier route to the NBA Finals than the defending champions, especially as Golden State – who may be without Stephen Curry for the next few weeks – could face the San Antonio Spurs in the not-so-distant future. If nothing else, Cleveland could take advantage of the less testing schedule and the Cavs may be fresher for the seven-match series for the title.
If truth be told, Cleveland should almost certainly reach the NBA Finals as they are the best team in the Eastern Conference. On their day, the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are capable of testing LeBron James and co. but it will take a minor miracle for the Cavaliers to slip up over the course of a seven-match series. As of April 27th, Cleveland are valued at 16/5 in the NBA outright odds for the championship and they will be quietly confident of finally getting their hands on a first title, especially if Curry’s injury is much more serious than originally expected.
And while LeBron James is exceptional, it isn’t like Cleveland are pinning all of their hopes on his shoulders. Kyrie Irving has matured into a phenomenal talent and he was instrumental in the Cavaliers’ fourth victory over the Pistons. With both James and Irving in fine form, Cleveland have enough attacking prowess to over-power opposing sides and they will be very difficult to beat – even if their defensive capabilities are put to the sword in the coming weeks. The old adage suggests “defense wins championships” but it could be Irving and James who bring the NBA title to Cleveland…
It won’t be easy but the NBA title is there for the taking this year. Golden State are a very good side but they aren’t invincible – especially without Curry. If the regular season MVP is injured for a prolonged spell, the Warriors may be eliminated and Cleveland could profit directly from their elimination. After all, the defending champions are an excellent outfit and the Cavs would get a huge boost – even if they had to face the San Antonio Spurs. With both James and Irving in great form, anything is possible…