Cleveland Cavaliers: Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Posted by Aaron . on May 9, 2016 in

The Cleveland Cavaliers just swept the Atlanta Hawks right out of the postseason, winning their 11th straight playoff game over the Hawks with a 100-99 Game 4 victory down in Georgia. The Cavaliers are playing as though they are on another level from the rest of the East right now, and now they get plenty of time to rest and wait for the winner of the Miami – Toronto semifinal, which the Raptors currently lead 2-1, with Game 4 coming up on Monday night, so the Cavaliers will have at least a few more days to see who their opponent will be in the conference finals.

No matter whether it is Toronto or Miami who emerges, though, there are several reasons why the Cavaliers are a good pick to make it all the way to the NBA Finals. Let’s take a look at three reasons.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Eastern Conference Finals Preview

 

 

The Cavs light it up from downtown

In Game 2, the Cavaliers set an NBA record with 25 made three-pointers. They stayed hot in Games 3 and 4, which is why they set a record for three-pointers in a playoff series. The Raptors and the Heat simply don’t have that much prowess from behind the arc, so this gives the Cavaliers a real advantage in the final series. By bringing in Channing Frye at the trade deadline, they added to a lineup deep in shooters (Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, Kevin Love, not to mention King James) so they are ready for a shootout.

Last year’s Finals still eat away at them

Ever since last year, the Cavaliers have had a giant chip on their collective shoulders after losing the Finals last year. Since then, they have continued to take criticism — for firing coach David Blatt and for LeBron just being LeBron, which seems to bring a lot more criticism than accolade. This has made them mentally tough, to the point where they are overcoming adversity — and now they have won two playoff series in the minimum eight games.

No one is in the infirmary

Last year, the trip to the NBA Finals cost the Cavaliers Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injury. This meant that it was LeBron James and a bunch of guys taking on the Golden State Warriors. Even with those problems, the Cavs ended up leading the series for a time and winning two games. Given that the Warriors are the team with some injuries, and that the West is shaping up to be a much tougher gauntlet than the East, if the Cavs make the NBA Finals, they will make it with a lot fewer injuries (knock on wood) than last year. They will also be a lot more rested than Toronto or Miami, which will be an advantage in that series.