Now we head to the Eastern Conference, where the Cleveland Cavaliers saw their ten-game playoff winning streak come to a screeching halt in Toronto. Losing on the road isn't a disgrace, especially after coming back from 18 points down to take a couple of fourth quarter leads. I think the Cavs' problems are much more fixable than the Warriors, especially if Lebron decides to take over the game when his team needs it. I also doubt that Irving and Love will continue to shoot poorly, so with a win tonight in Cleveland, all might be right in northern Ohio. However, if Toronto's guards, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan continue to combine for 60+ points, the Cavs could be in real trouble. It appears that Cleveland's rookie head coach Tryon Lue is choking a bit under the pressure. Instead of sticking to the formula that resulted in that early playoff run, he seems to be reacting to situation by making changes that probably aren't necessary. The problem there is that he runs the risk of losing credibility with Lebron James and that could affect the chemistry that the Cavs had worked so hard to develop over the course of the second half of the season. Kevin Love's offensive difficulties also could jeopardize the trust that James has come to show in him. We'll see tonight how they respond.
Are we looking at a Finals that pits the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Toronto Raptors? If so, shouldn't commissioner Adam Silver and the owners be a bit concerned? As dynamic as the four stars that would be on display are, the Raptors play in Canada and OKC is still a small market team. The NBA is built around star power and the lack of Lebron or Steph will likely result in a ratings disaster. There's really no way the casual fan will find much to be interested in, except perhaps the chance that nice guy Kevin Durant will be able to pick up that elusive title. An OKC - Cleveland matchup would be a great series, as would a Warriors - Cavs rematch. But if the Raptors pull the upset and advance to face OKC, it's just difficult for me to envision a lot of national interest.