By Sean Simara @Sean_FootyMad @TLE_Sport
The stars are coming together in the East as the NBA play-offs are fast approaching. The question is: can anyone derail Lebron’s Cavaliers train?
‘The King’ looks set to take his new team to the NBA Eastern Finals unless there’s a big upset along the way. As I have mentioned before Lebron James is the best player and biggest name in the NBA and this season he returned to his home team which, without a doubt, has a great chance to get to the finals.
The Cleveland Cavaliers players in recent weeks have shown that they are ready for the play-offs. The Kyrie Irving 57 point game earlier this month is still talked about and they are pretty much dominant at home. In a mouth-watering prospect, the Cavaliers could face Miami Heat in the first round of the play-offs if all goes to plan.
This could be the match up the NBA, the fans, maybe even Heat General Manager, Pat Riley, all want. However is that what Lebron wants? We see in sports across the world that when a player returns to a former club it is not always a successful experience. Miami and Cleveland have played already this season but play-off Basketball is very different to the regular season. The Miami Heat I feel will need Dwyane Wade at his very best to stand a chance against Cleveland.
This match-up could be the banana skin for Cleveland, but it’s not the only potential obstacle. The other contenders in the Eastern Conference for me are of course the team that lead the way Atlanta Hawks – they will finish first which means home court advantage. The Chicago Bulls are still without superstar Derrick Rose, who hopes to return in a few weeks after having knee surgery. I can’t see them doing much in the play-offs this year though.
The last team who I feel can cause any problems will be the Toronto Raptors. Can their stars such as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry cause any problems for Cleveland? I’ve still got a feeling that Cleveland Cavaliers will win the East Conference outright and head to the NBA Finals – it’s theirs to lose.
What about the Western Conference? Golden State Warriors lead the way and the Memphis Grizzlies will be hard to beat. Houston Rockets have a MVP contender running the show in James Harden and Damian Lillard at Toronto Trail Blazers doesn’t get half as much recognition as he deserves in a league full of class point guards. I haven’t even mentioned the LA Clippers, Dallas, Oklahoma City Thunder or the defending champions San Antonio Spurs. Yes, the West will be exciting – as will the East. Don’t take your eyes off it for one second. I know I won’t.
For more from Sean visit his blog threeminutesinjurytime.blogspot.co.uk and follow him on twitter @Sean_FootyMad