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NO BULL. JUST STRAIGHT HOOPS.
June 5, 2015
By Anthony J. Fredella
OAKLAND, California - LeBron James is great, we all know that. When it is all said and done, he may go down as the greatest basketball talent to ever lace them up. At the very least, he'll be in the discussion. That's not debatable. But as great of a player as he is, currently the greatest on the planet, does he and his Cavalier teammates stand any chance in this year's NBA Finals if star PG Kyrie Irving, who has been dealing with a nagging knee injury almost the entirety of the playoffs, is incapable of returning to the floor? The unfortunate answer for Cavs Nation is, absolutely not. Not against this Golden State Warriors team that boasts a tremendous offensive repertoire to complement it's intensive defensive prowess. As great as LeBron James is, he can't beat the Warriors, virtually by himself, 4 out of the next 6 games. He just can't do it.
So, as Cavs Nation holds it's collective breath, awaiting the outcome of Irving's MRI that is scheduled for later today, most are probably day dreaming about what it would have been like to watch their healthy Cavs take on these mighty Warriors. And in doing so, they are probably asking the rhetorical question of how on earth would GSW been able to guard both LeBron and PF Kevin Love at the same time, while also have to account for a lightening quick Irving, a sharpshooting JR Smith, and big Timothy Mozgov diving to the basket at every opportunity?
But with Love spending the series in a suit, and with Irving possibly spending it on crutches, the Cavs are resigned to pinning their hopes on the shoulders of LeBron James. And while his shoulders are broad, they are not wide enough to carry this load. Not without a proven lead guard like Irving, himself capable of dropping 25 points and 12 assists on any given night when healthy. Not with SG JR Smith launching fade away 27 foot three-pointers that seemed to find nothing but iron and glass last night, in route to a 3-13 shooting performance. Not with PF Tristan Thompson and SG Iman Shumpert only able to contribute 8 total points in a combined 81 minutes of action. Without Irving, the Cavs do not have enough offensive fire power to keep up with the Warriors high octane flow, especially when Coach Steve Kerr’s bench is contributing 34 points, 19 rebounds and 8 assists as they did last night. No way. No how. No chance.