By Ron Evangelista, BuhayBasket contributorThe Cleveland Cavaliers have had their share of ups and downs since LeBron James came back home, but this year seemed to be the toughest out of all of them.
For a team that currently has the undisputed best player in the world, the Cavaliers were stuck in a rut that may have been too much for anyone, even LeBron himself, to handle. After all, he singlehandedly put this collection of players on his back and brought them back to the NBA Finals. Winning the chip against one of the greatest teams ever assembled, however, is a different story.
The Golden State Warriors have been quite the unstoppable force, shooting opponents out of the arena with lights-out percentages. Four consecutive times, they have been in the Finals and in every single one of those battles, LeBron and his group have been standing in their way. This year, they just brushed their opponents aside like they were nothing but dust.
This matchup looked just like a photocopy of last season’s ride. The Cavs were way out of their league and with every punch they threw, and the Warriors countered threefold. Game 1 was the Cavs’ unluckiest outing as they looked perfectly in stride until a now infamous blunder by JR Smith ruined everything, including LeBron’s incredible 51-point performance.
No man is an island, and LeBron, even though gifted with supernatural talents, is still just a man. Doing it all alone on the biggest stage of the most competitive basketball league in the world is a statistical impossibility. What pains people the most though, is that they weren’t able to put up much of a fight, and no one can blame them. How can they stop the most gigantic force in the game of basketball today?
Every defeat felt like a crushing haymaker, slowly but surely setting them up for the knockout. And when that knockout punch came, it felt more like the farmhand putting the old dog out of its misery rather than just an ordinary loss.
Bad coaching, bad team managing, and even worse players, Cleveland had nothing going for them. In the four games that they lasted, they were looking like men trying to conquer Mt. Everest on stilts. Their weapons were lacking firepower, their ships looked like wrecks going up against an incredible fleet of yellow laden, red hot warriors in their midst. There is nowhere to go but forward for this franchise, as they now have met one of the most crushing defeats in recent memory.
For a franchise that has just recently won a championship, it is not too far to say that maybe it is time to start anew and rebuild from scratch.
As of posting, Cleveland still has LeBron, and at least they have that to look forward to.
[Videos from YouTube; thumbnail from NBA]