Cavs Advance to NBA Finals with Dominant Game 4
It took eight years and three first overall picks, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed back to the NBA Finals. It would have been hard to imagine Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and LeBron James in the same room; let alone on a podium accepting their Eastern Conference championship trophy, after LeBron’s infamous ‘Decision’, but sure enough last night there they were, smiles and all.
Despite playing without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving throughout the series, the Cavs were always in control, as LeBron dominated every aspect of the game. His statistics were not outrageous triple doubles like we’ve become used to, and would have been needed for previous Cavs teams to advance, but rather ruthlessly efficient and almost boring.
The enigmatic J.R. Smith continued in hot form, trailing only LeBron with 18 points, and has so far stepped up to fill the scoring void left by Kevin Love.
On the other side, the Atlanta Hawks ended up proving everyone right. They are who we thought they were: A good team that lacked a true dominant offensive playmaker and was unable to withstand injuries to key players such as Demarre Carroll and Kyle Korver.
While it is disappointing to have laid an egg in the Conference Finals, it would be hard to argue that this season hasn’t been a huge success as Mike Budenholzer’s team set a franchise record for wins and improved from the eighth to the first seed in the Eastern Conference.
Looking ahead, the Cavs will play the Golden State Warriors, barring an historic collapse, in what will provide a matchup of the two best players on the planet today, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. While the NBA playoffs have lacked contested series and close games, the Finals will be “can’t miss TV,” simply based on the quality of both sides. Hope everyone is ready.
King James does it again. LeBron & James Jones become first non-Celtics to make 5 consecutive NBA Finals appearances. pic.twitter.com/xoeMZKs60P
— ESPN (@espn) May 27, 2015