After winning just one game in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers, many analysts say, are woefully undermanned when it comes to beating the Golden State Warriors in a series.
Well, maybe, maybe not.
Here’s a little food for thought: As dominant as the Warriors were, the Cavs easily could have won Game 3 and trailed by just three points in the fourth quarter of Game 5 – despite a pair of subpar games from Kevin Love, who combined for 15 points on 3-of-17 (.176) shooting, including 1-of-10 (.100) from three, in those losses.
Yes, if Love and a few other Cavs made a few more plays, the NBA Finals might still be unfolding.
“I don’t think (the Cavs are) that far away,” Warriors play-by-play voice Tim Roye said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I understand how people think it’s bad, but to me, this is the way the league is. Chicago got to the Finals in the East six of eight times – and the only times they didn’t was when Jordan was with the Birmingham Barons.”
Examples of NBA dynasties are many: the Minneapolis Lakers of the ’50s, the Boston Celtics of the ’60s, the (Los Angeles) Lakers and Celtics of the ’80s, the Chicago Bulls of the ’90s – the list goes on.
“I think this league’s always been about star power,” Roye said. “I think in this case, the Warriors planned and the spike in the cap and their contracts were handled in a way that they had a chance to get Durant and they got him. So now the rest of the league has to figure out a way. But the ratings were the best since ’98 in the Finals on the TV side. I think even though we love parity, we always preach for parity, but I think we also like excellence and we root for excellence sometimes. We like the rivalries. I think deep within our basketball souls we kind of crave that, even though on the outside we want everybody to have a chance to win.”
As it stands, it’s difficult to envision any team in West beating Golden State or any team in the East beating Cleveland, at least in the next year or so. After all, the Cavs have LeBron, and the Warriors have four of the best players in the world, all of whom are in their 20s.
“I think they know that they’re right in the middle of something special, and I think there will be more than enough money to go around for all four of those guys,” Roye said. “I think they like the fact that they’re sparking a debate as to where they stand with the great teams of all time. They have the best regular season record now. They have the best postseason record now at 16-1. So my sense is that they have this sense of history about them and that they will stay together.”
And if they do, it could lead to a decade of dominance.
“I think if they keep their core together, I think they can have this run now for the next five to six years,” Roye said. “All these guys are in their prime right now. It’s an unbelievable gathering of these special, talented players. I think they’re a threat to win as long as they stay together. I think easily you could look at the next five to six years. I don’t think I’m overstating that. If they stay together, they’ll be a threat to win every year. I think we’re in the middle of the golden run of the franchise.”