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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Pre-take: 2016 NBA Eastern Conference Finals

05/18/2016 05:17:41 PM


As of writing time, the Cleveland Cavaliers have taken a 1-0 lead by dispatching Toronto Raptors, 115-84.

Honestly, I don't see much point on why I should get my hands on this match-up. Like seriously—setting my fandom aside—we are about to see Cleveland-Golden State Warriors for the second straight time, right? Like how the Celtics-Lakers have went on during 80s, as well as Bulls-Jazz in 1997 and 1998, and the Heat-San Antonio feud in 2013 and 2014.

Despite the Game 1 loss by the Warriors, I'm pretty sure they are more hungry than the Thunder—unless OKC were able to pull off another victory in either Game 2 at the Oracle Arena or the next game(s) at the Cheapskate Arena.

But going back to the East, the Cavaliers were on the mission—they are more hungrier than what a lot of us have thought. Imagine pulling strings of runs during the playoffs? Saw those players unleashing throwing bombs and shout “fire in a hole” from the rainbow country? Heard of those playoff-record 25 3-point bombs? It may not be that significant compared to that 73-9 win-loss record by the Warriors, but it proves Bron and co., were on a serious business.

They've had enough of bagging the East trophy and wound up being bridesmaid to eventual winners. Say that to LeBron who lost the Finals for four times—twice with the Spurs (with Cavs in '07, and with Heat in '14).

While the management doesn't rely him much unlike before, I think he got a support he badly needed on the offensive end. Just wish Kyrie doesn't screw his knee again at the big dance. But apart from him, JR Smith looked better right now. He has taken scoring load off the King.

And while they lost Varejao (to Warriors) in the mid-season, it seems Kevin Love has fully taken over alongside Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye. Talk about having inside-outside big men.

Plus Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert and Maurice Williams. These dudes can level up come crunch time, considering RJ and Mo's experience, for instance.

However, they have to take care of the ball—and learn how not to get blocked. While they are pounding inside, they have to select shots amidst the toppling defense.

As long as Toronto had some key players at sick bay (or at least not 100%), they have slim chances to pull off an upset. The only key to derail Cleveland is to get even on Game 2 and win at least one in their home turf. But that remains to be seen, considering the Cavs were on the roll since the start of the party; undefeated after nine games so far in the contender phase. Heck, they were even performing well than the defending champs right now with three losses in their 11th playoff game this season.

Fatigue has taken toll on both GSW and TOR. A Raptors win against Cavs will definitely send them back to the ground; proving “Hey, we might have been playing full series so far this year, but we don't give up just yet.”

Besides, Toronto's didn't reach this kind of success since Vinsanity era.

Well, you better hope Kyle Lowry's sore elbow will not bug him much soon, especially when the series shifts to Air Canada Centre. But as the pressure seems to rise soon, it's gonna be a tough grind for them.

But as far as the ball goes on the dribble, this should be an easy route for the Cavs. Take it by a sweep—or at least, on five games.
Author: slickmaster | (c) 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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