5 reasons why the Cleveland Cavaliers are favourites to win the 2016 NBA Finals
With the NBA Finals rematch, the Cavaliers have a shot at redemption against the Warriors.
With an impressive performance on the road in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors, the Cleveland Cavaliers punched their ticket to the NBA Finals, their second in as many years. Although the Cavaliers lost two games (their only two of the post-season) against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, the margin of their wins in the series showed their dominance.
Combining the East and West, Cleveland have been the quickest to take care of business at every stage of the Playoffs. They swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round, and then swept the Atlanta Hawks in Conference Semis before winning the East 4-2 at Toronto.
The 2016 NBA Finals will be the sixth consecutive for the four-time league MVP LeBron James, making him the only player to achieve a feat such as this in the last 50 years.
The Cavaliers team that has made it to the Finals this time, is a lot different from last year’s. First things first they are healthier and have a deeper reliable bench to go to. Second, history backs them as every NBA team in the last 10 years that has returned to the Finals, after losing the previous year, has claimed the championship.
However, history and health is not going to be enough. There is a lot more to this team that just that. Here’s why this Cleveland team is the favorites to win the NBA Finals:
#1 Tyron Lue’s coaching
Firing David Blatt after a 30-11 record this past season caught everyone by surprise. The element of surprise had more to do with the timing rather than the firing itself, but this was something the Cleveland management was looking to do for a long time. The lack of coaching experience at the biggest stages of them all, caused Blatt to lose his player’s trust and eventually his job.
In the midst of the players’ growing lack of faith in Blatt, grew an unlikely strong bond with the assistant Tyron Lue, which has shown in his coaching and the team’s play during his coaching tenure since Blatt’s firing. Under him, the team has gone 27-14 in the regular season and 12-2 in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Especially in the playoffs, the Cavaliers have come together under him as a group and have played a lot more as a team than they ever did under the previous regime. Part of the reason for that has been the bond and understanding he shares with all the players on the team.
That has led to completely changing the style of offense the team plays. Since Lue’s hiring, the Cavaliers have started to play a faster paced high-tempo offense, which supports or makes the best use of LeBron’s talents in the open floor in transition. The team is relatively young and going by their Playoff success, seems like Lue’s got them playing a style of ball that maximizes the roster’s talents.