Since Dec. 19 the Cavaliers are holding a record of 22-22, which doubles as being both average and extremely underwhelming for a team many saw fit to rep the East for the fourth straight year in the NBA Finals. Still, one of the most certain things in sports is seeing LeBron James make it into the league's final series, as the dude has done it seven years in a goddamn row. Because of that, whether his team is showing cracks in their armor or not, you probably don't want to see him come the postseason unless, say, you're the Warriors or something.
On the flip side of that, the Philadelphia 76ers are set to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012. At the moment they sit just a half game below Cleveland for the East's third seed. While their turnaround from conference basement dwellers to contenders has been long overdue in the City of Brotherly Love, one would think it's probably unlikely they get through three best-of-sevens to make it to the NBA Finals just a season removed from a 28-54 campaign.
Both of those issues collided this week when Sixers starting forward Dario Saric made it clear that he hopes Philadelphia can somehow avoid LeBron on the road to the title. When speaking about potential playoff opponents, Saric didn't mix words. "I don’t want to play against LeBron. He’s obviously top-three, top-two, top-three players in world in history, maybe," he said. "Everyone else in the world is welcome to come here."
While I don't buy this theory shared on NBC Sports, in part because I hadn't even thought about it for a second in my life, I do like the idea that Saric would just prefer not to face LeBron for fear that an overly contentious series would prevent him from signing with the Sixers over the summer.
Either way, at the moment, it looks like Cleveland and Philly wouldn't meet until the second round in a best case scenario. Disregarding the conspiracy theory, we tend to agree with Saric. Especially since LeBron said about three weeks ago he couldn't give a crap what regular season record/seed the Cavs have once the playoffs get under way. To be the man you got to beat the man, that's common knowledge, and nobody's done that in the East since Boston in 2010.