They came oh so close in 2007. Having made their first NBA finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared to be destined for greatness. Even though they were swept by the Spurs that season, LeBron James was young and constantly improving his game.
2008 came around, and the Boston Celtics had a bolstered roster that was simply too strong for the Cleveland Cavs. They nearly defeated them, but Boston marched on and captured an NBA title under the leadership of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen.
During the 2008-2009 season, the Cavs looked like the team to beat. Boasting the best home record in the NBA (they had a 39-2 home record), the Cleveland Cavaliers also had the best record in the NBA. A 66-16 finish gave them the top seed in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs. It looked like it’d be the year for Cleveland.
Unfortunately, the team’s run was spoiled by the Orlando Magic. This left Cleveland fans wondering if Dwight Howard and the Magic had the Cavs’ number, and what could be done about this.
Surely, the team was lacking in the big man department. Enter Shaquille O’Neal. The Cavs now enjoy the presence of the big man on their roster, and will look to use his physical prowess and playoff experience to bring home an NBA title. There’s a lot on the line, and the Celtics and Magic have both made some big moves themselves during the off season.
This may or may not be enough, but one thing’s for sure. The Cavs are stronger this year than they were last year. And that’s scary.