Sports Page

​A Few Thoughts on the 2015 NBA Finals

(www.sportingnews.com)
Chad W. Lutz
​July 11, 2014: I can remember the day clearly. It was sunny, warm. The anticipation of whether Lebron James would opt to stay with the Miami Heat, sign with a big-market team like Chicago or New York, or return to the city that served as the stage for his formative years was so thick that morning I almost threw up on my way to work and had to roll the window down for air. When the decision was finally announced, I stood up from my office desk and yelled, "What the fuck!" Among writers in an office so quiet you could hear a pin drop, my jubilance was like dropping an atom bomb at a daycare during naptime. The sounds of my hollering disrupted just about everything, and may have even chipped some paint off the walls. I ran out into the parking lot, still yelling, and called my brother instantly. This may not have been my most professional moment as a writer, but it was definitely indicative.

Lebron James was coming home.

Nearly a year later, after months of in-team fighting, lackluster play, retooling of lineups, injuries, two-week breaks, resurgence, dominance, playoff berths, more injuries, and perseverance, the Cavaliers, who boasted one of the league's worst records over the last four years collectively, are a little more than twenty-four hours removed from Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors in their second-only trip the NBA Finals in franchise history. If you've been following the chaos cruiser that is the Wine and Gold over the last four campaigns, you're probably wading in as much shock as I am. We're the Eastern Conference Champions for 2015. I repeat: we're the Eastern Conference Champions for 2015; the same team that won thirty-three games last season, and the same team that won twenty-four the year before.

But, I'm not here to jabber on about what is and what will never be. I'm just excited to be here, even though I know members of both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are looking at anything less than a championship at this point as a letdown. If you would have told me the Cavs and Warriors were going to meet in a Finals, say, ever, I would have given you an equally emphatic response to the one that overtook me when Lebron resigned last July. That's not to say I'm not ecstatic. It's about time The Finals featured players wearing colors other than Celtic Green and Laker Purple, or even San Antonio black and grey or Miami red. Dynasties are fun and all, but how many times throughout the history of the NBA have we seen two dark horse teams like the Cavs and Warriors make serious pushes for championships in the same season. The last time I can think two more unlikely teams met in The Finals happened in 1999 when the then-championshipless Spurs took on the eighth-seeded New York Knicks.

I'm taking these Finals one game at a time. I think that's all anyone can do. The matchups predicted for this year's championship round hold so much promise from Player 1 to Player 15 it's hard to say who actually has the edge. Both teams are hungry, nay, starving for a title. One team features the best player on the planet, and the other features the best core group basketballers you can find on the hardwoods. I think the world will be watching when the series tips tomorrow night, not just Northeast Ohio or Central California. I think it would be fool not to.