Are the Cavs the Favorite in the East?
*Photo via USA Today
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in second place in the Eastern Conference, as of April 1, at 48-27. Many people expected the Cavs to be up there with the roster they assembled in the 2014 offseason. However, that was not the case as the season started. They spent the latter part of 2014 playing.500 basketball and questions started to arise about the Cavs. Was Kevin Love going to leave at the end of the season? Can Kyrie and LeBron coexist? Will Blatt remain coach? The Cavs were in deep trouble, but then the calendar turned to 2015.
The Cavs have been on a tear in 2015. Since January 5, the Cavs have gone 29-8 posting one of the best records in the NBA and catapulting into the second seed of the Eastern Conference. They went from a team that was battling to stay in the playoffs to a team that will most likely have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Part of the reason the Cavs have been so successful is because of a great mid-season trade.
As reported by ESPN.com, Dion Waiters went to the Thunder, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert went to the Cavs and three players, Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson from the Cavs, and Lance Thomas from the Thunder went the Knicks.
With all that said, the Cavs are definitely the favorite to come out of the East. Let's look at the top two contenders in the East besides the Cavs.
The Chicago Bulls do not have the offensive power to match up against the Cavs, and since Derrick Rose is out indefinitely (although he is trying to come back), the Bulls do not have what it takes, to knockoff the Cavs in the playoffs. They are a tough defensive team and play with heart and passion, but with the brilliance of LeBron at the offensive end, the Bulls would be eliminated by the Cavaliers.
The Atlanta Hawks are another great team that shares the ball and play great team defense. However, stars shine in the playoffs and the Hawks have none, which will make it hard for them to compete against the Cavs, who have two. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be too much to handle.
The Cavs are coming and with Kyrie, Lebron, JR, Mosgov, and Shumpert playing at the high level, they are the favorites in the East and can possibly make the NBA Finals this season