It’s not a stretch to say that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been the most dominant team this postseason.
They’re the only team in the entire NBA that hasn’t lost a playoff game. Furthermore, the Cavaliers now feature a three-point shooting attack that can compete with the 73-9 Golden State Warriors.
Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving has taken notice of this Cleveland squad. According to an interview with Sam Gardner of Fox Sports, Erving considers the Cavaliers to be the title favorites:
“There’s always this consensus that the better teams are in the West, but Cleveland will be a tough matchup, offensively and defensively, for whoever comes out of the West. Because that’s not the team that played in the regular season. This team right now, they’re on to something that just kind of makes them a force to be reckoned with, and they’d have to be the favorites right now, in my book.”
Erving didn’t stop there, as he continued lavishing praise on Cleveland:
“Currently, how they’re playing, they’re playing better than the Warriors, better than the Spurs, better than Portland and better than Oklahoma City, and better than Miami and better than Toronto. They are playing the best basketball right now.”
While teams like the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs certainly had better resumes during the regular season, the Cavaliers have absolutely thrived in the 2016 playoffs. They are knocking down 16.8 three-point shots per game and broke an NBA record for treys in one contest when they nailed 25 of them in their Game 2 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in the semis.
This 2015-16 squad is a huge upgrade over the 2014-15 version that lost to the Warriors in the NBA Finals. The team plays a more up-tempo style and they are absolutely deadly from beyond the arc.
“Last year Kyrie was not healthy and Love was not even there,” Erving said. “Just adding those two — and they’ve done more than just add those two, because they brought in a couple more players, and J.R. was in a funk last year and he’s on fire too — and the confidence that they’re playing with and the sense of purpose that they’re playing with, I don’t think they’re going to be denied.”
A lot of people may be sleeping on Cleveland because of the Western Conference powerhouses, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Cavaliers do end up as the 2016 NBA champions because they certainly look like the favorites entering the conference finals.