I considered doing an NBA Eastern Conference Preview, but there really wasn’t one necessary. I can tell you a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals by just talking about one team, in fact, I can do it by talking about one player.
Yeah, he’s all anyone talks about in the NBA but with just a few years left (he’s human, I promise) it’s hard not to write about him when you can. When a player like him hits the court, you should be watching him on ISO the whole time. For every other basketball player we see this year, there will be one like him in the future. For LeBron James, he’s an actual once in a generation kind of guy.
When we call guys like Chris Paul and James Harden once in a generation kind of guys, we mean once every 5 years. When we say LeBron, we mean once every 100 years.
That being said, GOAT status doesn’t win you playoff series. You have to show up and win 12 games to be the Eastern Conference Champs, but once Kyrie was out for the season, everyone knew what it meant. It meant the Cavs would lose a game in the first round then go on to win the next four and meant that they’d probably go on to sweep Toronto in the next round and whoever they end up facing in the ECF.
It’s not the East’s fault, they’ve shown much improvement over the last couple years. But they lack a true team that could upend the Cavs team that finished the year 12-3 and have looked like the best team in the NBA since their trades at the deadline.
Kyle Korver, Kevin Love, and JR Smith know they’re playoffs roles perfectly by now and their combination has never been in question whether it’s good enough to win the East or not.
Mix that in with Tristan Thompson becoming the first black male to ever cheat just to avoid the Kardashian curse, and you have yourself an injury free team that will find themselves in the Finals for the fourth season in a row.
For the rest of the Eastern Conference, it’s back to the drawing board once again as the start of the Playoffs only means that they have a couple of weeks of season left.