It’s been 52 years since the city of Cleveland won a major sports championship. We all expected the Indians or the Browns to do it, although the Browns aren’t expected to do much in the near future. But since LeBron James was drafted in 2003 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, suddenly the Cavs were expected to accomplish the task.
Here is LeBron’s stat line for the 2016 NBA Finals:
29.7 points, 8.9 assists, 11.3 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks
LeBron’s teammate Kyrie Irving averaged 30.8 points and shot over 46% from the 3-point line. Kyrie hit the series clinching shot in Game 7 and it summed up how the Cavs were able to be the only team in NBA history to come back and win from a 3-1 deficit.
LeBron was never going to be stopped, only contained. The Warriors didn’t have a truly reliable defender other than Andre Iguodala. Kyrie on the other hand was defended well for the first two games, mostly by Klay Thompson, but once the series shifted to Cleveland in Game 3, he woke up.
You can try to discredit every little thing about the Cavaliers this season. The utter weakness of the conference they play in or the fact that they still would have won if they kept David Blatt as their head coach. Either way they accomplished something that is very hard to do.
They defeated the same team that beat them last year for the NBA title and did so having to win three in a row. Mind you two of those wins were in Oakland. Not exactly the easiest place to get a victory.
He did what he said he wanted to do; bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. We also saw the amazing ability of Kyrie Irving and his willingness to make a play without relying on LeBron.
Lost in all of this was the play of Kevin Love who played more around the basket in the last two games of the series to better complement Tristan Thompson’s amazing rebounding prowess.
It will take a long time for Cavalier and really Cleveland fans in general to come down from this euphoria. Enjoy it and relish the fact that no one else could have pulled this off. Kyrie and Love couldn’t have done this without LeBron James.