Reports of the Cavaliers’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the notions and claims that they’re still not the top team in the East is fake news. This was proven Wednesday night when the defending NBA champions went into Boston and completely demolished the Celtics—the same Celtics that pundits crowned as this year’s team that would keep LeBron James out of his seventh straight NBA Finals. The same Celtics who were poised to take the No. 1 seed in the conference from the Cavs. That was until LeBron and company reminded everyone who runs things in the East.
With their 114-104 victory at TD Garden, the Cavaliers made a very simple statement: If you want to go to the NBA Finals in the East, you have to go through Cleveland. In recent weeks, a lot has been made about the Cavs’ poor play. They weren’t playing defense and look frustrated. They went 6-10 in March and didn’t look like a title contender. All the talk about flipping a switch was nothing but hot air. The Cavs couldn’t find the switch, weren’t even in the room, they played so poorly.
when it comes to sending a statement to a potential foe, guess who flips the switch better than anybody out there?
Prior to Wednesday’s thumping, the Cavs were a horrible 1-9 on the second game of back-to-backs on the road. LeBron publicly downplayed the Celtics game and said he was the last person to ask about the regular season. They were trying to make it seem like they didn’t care about the possible Eastern Conference Finals matchup. Turns out they lied and that’s fine. LeBron and the Cavs’ actions told the truth.
Bron was the best player on the court, finishing with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Celtics didn’t look like they belonged on the same court as the Cavs, and the defending champs wanted people to know that. The longstanding defensive questions were put to rest as LBJ and company swarmed around the court while holding Boston to 41 percent shooting on the night. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were their usual productive selves in the contest while J.R. Smith had notable PIPE moments to make Cavs fans smile. Cleveland looked fresh, motivated, and locked in while the actual rested Celtics, who hadn’t played since Sunday, looked slow, shook, and discouraged.
So sure, LeBron is the wrong guy to ask about regular season games, especially this close to the playoffs, but when it comes to sending a statement to a potential foe, guess who flips the switch better than anybody out there?