Cleveland is cruising through the Eastern Conference playoffs, 6-0 to this point, and have been quite impressive in their victories. In fact, all of their victories have been by double digits. Have they taken over the favorite spot to win the title this year? Hopefully, you can see the screen again after wiping away the tears of laughter from such an idea. Yes, Cleveland finished the regular season with an NBA best 66-16 record. Yes, they are undefeated so far in the playoffs. Yes, LeBron James just put his first MVP trophy on his mantle. And finally, yes, they are beating up on teams that would not have made it into the playoffs if they were in the Western Conference.
I know, I know, they can only play the teams on their playoff schedule. But look at who they have beaten. A Detroit (39-43 regular season) team that is a shell of its old self, torn apart by a trade that sent its Finals MVP to Denver. Now they are playing Atlanta, a team that finished 4th in the East with a record of 47-35. Atlanta would not have made the playoffs in the West with that record. The West’s 4th seed record was Portland at 54-28.
Cleveland won’t face an actual challenge in these playoffs until they meet up with Orlando or Boston. I expect to see LeBron and Co. in the Finals against the Lakers. The Lakers are going to be very battle tested by that time, so don’t be surprised to see the Lakers winning in 5.