The Sporting News, always trying to be ahead of the curve, did a huge story in its NBA season preview issue breaking down a projected Cavaliers-Lakers matchup in the 2010 NBA Finals. They used four pages to comapre the two teams.
It’s only two games. The Cavs will be fine. It’s not like they’re going to miss the playoffs. LeBron James’ triple-double in the loss Wednesday night at Toronto was a reminder he’s probably still the best player in the league.
But Cleveland’s 0-2 start is a sign the Cavaliers might not be the Eastern Conference favorite many of us made them out to be, myself included.
Shaquille O’Neal, Cleveland’s much hyped off-season acquisition, has been a liability defensively. Opponents are taking advantage by pulling him away from the basket, then driving around him, exposing Shaq on pick-and-rolls.
Shaq appears to be a bad fit for the Cavs, who are at their best when they’re running in transition.
With Delonte West’s current troubles, the Cavs’ depth is thin for the time being.
Panic? No. Cleveland should win 55-plus games, possibly get to 60 again. King James is that good.
But after watching the Opening Night loss, at home, to the Celtics I certainly wish I had a mulligan on my presason picks just three days into the season.
Boston’s aging roster must stay healthy. The playoffs are a long way off. Things can change in a week or two much less six months. But early in the season, it’s apparent the Celtics, not the Cavs, are the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.