SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – I’m back! And as you’re about to read, I’m making a statement in my three-week return with a brand new Ebs’ Hot Takes! Here we go…
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and a couple of contenders have closed the gap between themselves and the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
But the real threat that closed the gap wasn’t the team that pushed the Warriors to their brink Saturday night – the Los Angeles Clippers. No, it was the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Cavs acquired sharp-shooting big Channing Frye on Thursday, their biggest move came on Jan. 22 when they fired head coach David Blatt and immediately promoted Ty Lue to head coach.
Don’t beleive me? Cleveland is 10-3 since the firing and is currently in the midst of a five-game winning streak.
Still don’t believe me? Well, you can listen to my newspaper’s podcast where I debate the firing with one of my co-workers.
At the end of the day, the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
Even though Stephen Curry might be the best shooter in the league, and he is by a large margin, the King is still the guy you want on your team with the game on the line.
With dominating wins over Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Chicago with Lue at the helm, the Cavs look like a completely different team. They’re playing with more energy, scoring more points, playing better defense and most importantly, using Kevin Love correctly. When it comes down to it, Kevin Love could be the key.
The Cavs have more depth than the Warriors, and with the addition of Frye they’ll be able to stretch the Warriors out and take guys like Festus Ezili off of the floor.
While it’s not a lock that the Cavs takes down Golden State in the NBA Finals, I like their chances. And it’s also worth noting that Cleveland’s path to the championship round is much easier than Golden State’s.