The Cleveland Cavaliers will meet, yet again, the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals starting Thursday night, and the odds of Cleveland dethroning the champions are daunting. Let’s discuss how one man could turn the tables and lead Cleveland to the Promised Land.
LeBron is King
Think for a moment where the Cavaliers would be this season without LeBron James leading them into battle. It’s not pretty, and the idea that this band of middling players could even reach the postseason is suspect. Thus, it’s no wonder that the moment the Warriors clinched their series against Houston on Monday night, the oddsmakers had already posted a series line which could be found on Sportsbook Review, a website dedicated to all things sports gambling including odds from the best online sportsbooks in the world. Lo and behold, the Warriors weren’t just favored, the odds made it clear this series was more of a coronation as opposed to a competition. Golden State currently sits at series odds of -1050 with a return of +675 on Cleveland. How do you like that? I know I do.
At 33 years old and with 15 years of NBA mileage, LeBron is having the postseason of his life. That’s saying something, particularly when one considers he is averaging a staggering 34 points per game in a career replete with world titles, MVP Awards, and every other accolade imagined. He is on an island all by himself with no Kyrie Irving or any other teammate resembling an All-Star. Kevin Love, the most accomplished and skilled veteran on the Cavs besides LeBron, is out with a concussion, and the truth be told has never resembled the same dominating force that he was during his tenure with Minnesota. Nevertheless, King James is a man who needs no court as he has been a one-man wrecking crew carrying his team to victory on his massive shoulders.
The Golden State Warriors need no introduction. Their accomplishments and championships speak for itself. Every time they take the court they are fielding what is essentially an All-Star team with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Head coach Steve Kerr is the metaphorical jockey aboard the NBA’s Secretariat, guiding his steed ever so gently without doing much of anything except allowing preternatural ability to manifest into a dynamic display of speed, power, and stunning efficacy.
Golden State’s series against the NBA’s best regular-season team, the Houston Rockets, went seven games but it appeared as though that was more due to the Warriors’ malaise as it was a credit to Houston’s ability. Perhaps we are not giving the Rockets enough credit but the Warriors seem to create their own challenges as evidenced by their propensity to fall behind in the first half only to forge ahead in the second.
But now they face a familiar foe in Cleveland, a team led by the only player in NBA history who is routinely compared to Michael Jordan and occupies the same rarified air as the greatest who ever played the game. LeBron is not only the heart and soul of this Cavaliers’ team but the rest of the body parts as well. He has willed his team to victory throughout this postseason and the oddsmakers, as well as the pundits, say one man is not enough to conquer a mountain of Warriors.
Well, strange things happen in life and in sports. Donald Trump defied the odds and is now Commander-in-Chief, while the Vegas Golden Knights are competing in the Stanley Cup Finals in their expansion season. How would you like to have parlayed those events? Perhaps a Cleveland championship will be yet another in a recent string of remarkable events, because if Cleveland does defeat the sporadically disinterested Warriors, the debate between who’s better, LeBron or Michael Jordan, will be settled for good.