In all likelihood, the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to get swept in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors. The one good thing to come out of it? There’s no pressure on LeBron James anymore.
Sure, there will be those who talk about his two championships in six trips to the finals, but he gets a pass from those who love to define a player by the number of titles he has won, regardless of how good he is or not. James is probably the only player who can carry his team with 40 or more points in a finals game and be criticized and ridiculed as a loser and choker afterwards. As if it’s all on him, and him alone.
No Kevin Love (hasn’t been there since the first round of the postseason). Now no Kyrie Irving. Anderson Varejao has also been missing, although if it wasn’t for his injury, the fantastic Timofey Mozgov wouldn’t have been signed. The Cavaliers are a team with little and less to compete with the almost unstoppable machine of the Golden State Warriors.
Sometimes these situations bring some sort of cohesiveness no one could have predicted, but it’s hard to see it happening now. The Cavaliers are simply left with too few offensive weapons and rotation options around James, coming at the worst time possible, against the worst team possible. As great as James might be in the remaining games, even if J.R. Smith regains his shooting touch, it’s simply difficult seeing David Blatt turning this into anything more than a sympathetic loss.
The judgement on LeBron James is delayed, at least for one more season. That is, if he can still carry a team to an NBA Finals series after this postseason is over. If the Cavaliers remain the same and don’t succumb to injuries once again, it shouldn’t be too difficult in the still relatively easy Eastern conference.