Maybe I’m biased here. Okay, I’m definitely biased.
If you’re not up-to-speed on the current happenings of the Eastern Conference in the NBA…
The Atlanta Hawks are in 1st place and on a 17-game winning streak. The Cavaliers are in 5th place and on an 8-game winning streak. The consensus is that no one is going to be able to catch Atlanta in the East, and while I respect and enjoy watching every player on that Hawks team, I don’t think they’re even going to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. I think the Cavs are a better team, if they all stay healthy, for the following 5 reasons:
1. Kyrie Irving
55 points. A career high and a life high for the 22 year-old Cavs point guard. So LeBron didn’t play last night. Fine. When it comes down to it, Irving is a much more dominant point guard than Jeff Teague. Teague knows he can turn to any of the other 4 in the starting lineup to have his back, but when it comes to taking over a game, Teague, NO ONE, can do it like Kyrie can. This insane scoring paired with Kyrie’s new-found love for defense and intensity is going to be unstoppable moving forward.
2. LeBron James (duh)
I don’t think I need to go into much detail with this one. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA and he has championship experience (I still say that with a sour taste in my mouth). Atlanta does not have a single championship winner on their roster.
3. The City of Cleveland
Yeah, yeah. This isn’t an actual, technical team-to-team comparison, but in our case, it certainly helps. No one started attending Hawks games until they were in the middle of this winning streak. This is Cleveland, people. There’s an undeniable sense of pride in the air and more metaphorical Jersey Shore fist pumps running through our minds than anyone can take. Even Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino couldn’t keep up. We should all have exceptionally chiseled tri’s and bi’s by now. What I’m trying to say, is that Cleveland is the best city ever and no one is going to mess with our fandom. We stand behind our Cavaliers.
4. J.R. Smith
I know what you’re thinking. Slow your role, Nell. Pump the brakes. Woahhhh, Nellie. If J.R. Smith stays in the starting lineup (which I think he should), he’s a better option for me than Kyle Korver. No disrespect to Korver, but people giddily cheered when he dunked for the first time in forever the other night, and that’s just not cute to me. He’s white; I understand; and is going to go down in history solely for his 3-point shooting, but come on. Throwing a party for a dunk? Act like you’ve been there before, young fella (said only in Austin Carr’s voice).
5. Brendan Haywood…just kidding. Mike Miller…just kidding. Tristan Thompson…you wish I was kidding, but I’m not.
Even though Tristan be actin’ a fool by turning down our contract offer, he’s coming off the bench in a pretty non-foolish way this season. I wish he could learn to catch the ball down low, but hey, Santa can’t grant all of my Christmas wishes. We’re going to need him to snag boards and continue to play good defense down the stretch. Plus, the Hawks’ backup power forward is Pero Antic, who looks like a convicted felon and is from Macedonia (I don’t even know where that is on a map).