Friday, April 16, 2010
2010 NBA Playoffs: Cavs best chance for a title?
With the 2010 NBA Playoffs to start tomorrow afternoon, there has been a lot of discussion regarding first round matchups/the resting of team's superstars as they get ready for the playoffs. And while there are certainly interesting storylines around the league as the first round begins, such as the matchup between the Spurs and Mavericks as an example, I would like to take this opportunity to go on record as saying that this season represents the best opportunity that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to win it all. General Manager Danny Ferry went out in the offseason and signed Shaquille O'Neal to add some depth at center, where Zydrunas Ilgauskas has performed admirably but often gets fatigued or into foul trouble come playoff time. If Shaq is even back to 90% healthy, the minutes that he and Ilgauskas share in the paint will be gravy for the Cavs and a potential matchup nightmare for any team that has to face them. Ferry was not done adding to the team, and, after the all-star break signed forward Antwan Jamison, whose scoring should mean that James will not have to have a hot hand every night in order for the Cavs to win. Combine those additions with the pleasantly surprising play of forwards JJ Hickson and Jamario Moon and you have a very deep roster indeed. That depth should allow them to easily defeat the Bulls on the way to beating an aging Celtics squad for a return to the Eastern Conference Championship. The Orlando Magic, the Cavs biggest threat in the East, have gotten slightly worse in my estimation, giving up the verstaile Hedo Turkgolu for the otherwise one-dimensional Vince Carter. And should the Cavs make it to the finals I believe they will be playing the Denver Nuggets, not the Lakers, for the title. The Lakers have been too inconsistent as the season comes to a close; unlike Phil Jackson's Chicago Bulls I do not believe the Lakers under Jackson can just flip a switch and get back to the finals. So, in the end, I believe it will be an epic battle between LeBron's Cavs and Carmelo's Nuggets which will go the full seven games, with the home team Cavs winning game seven and bringing the city of Cleveland its first ever NBA Championship.