Unbeatable Cavs Dominating Playoffs
While most NBA fans and experts following the Playoffs expected the Cavs to advance to the Eastern Finals, I don’t know how many anticipated the complete and utter domination in getting there. The Cavs are now 8-0 in the Playoffs and have time to rest (which may be a bad thing) as they wait for the winner of the tightest series of this year’s Playoffs. The Cavs will play the winner of the Heat/Raptors series, which is now tied 2-2 after their 3rd overtime game Monday night. Neither of these teams looks to be playing well enough to knock off the Cavs and Lebron looks like he will advance to his record 6th straight Finals.
In a previous article, http://legendgrows.com/watercooler/2015/09/how-many-titles-can-lebron-win-in-cleveland/ I highlighted that all of the previous repeat, non-Center champions over the age of 30, won championships as the 2nd or 3rd offensive options on their teams. The numbers explained that for Lebron to win another title at this stage of his career, he would need some major help. Lebron led the Cavs in scoring in all but 4 of the Cavs’ 20 Playoffs games last season but has been the leading scorer in only 3 of the Cavs’ 8 games so far this season. Lebron, Kyrie, J.R. Smith, and Channing Frye have all led the Cavs in scoring at least once and Kevin Love has recorded double-doubles in every Playoff game so far. The Cavs have turned in the two most prolific three-point shooting games in Playoff history, so it’s clear Lebron is finally getting the help that he needs.
Lebron is the worst 3-point shooter of the Cavs rotation players these Playoffs, shooting just 31.6%. The Cavs have Irving, Love, Smith, Frye, Shumpert, and Jefferson all shooting lights out–all better than 44%, In last year’s Playoffs, Lebron had more than double the total number of points (601) as the next closest Cav, Kyrie (247). Kyrie has actually outscored Lebron these Playoffs (195 to 188) and while Lebron was easily the Cavs’ best rebounder last year, Love is averaging almost 4 rebounds per game more than Lebron this year. Lebron shot almost twice as many shots per game (27.2) last Playoffs as his next closest teammate (Irving at 14.2). This year, Lebron is averaging only 19.1 shot attempts, Irving 18.6, and Love 16.5. The worst news for the rest of the teams still competing for a championship is that the Cavs’ “Big 3” are now 12-0 in the Playoffs together and all signs suggest the Cavs aren’t done.