Cavaliers take care of Pistons
The top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers were expected to crush the young, inexperienced Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. They did not disappoint.
While the games were mostly tight, the Cavaliers finished off a sweep of the Pistons in the first round, sending the fellas from Motown home wondering what the heck just happened. Meanwhile, Cleveland is onto the conference semifinals, awaiting the winner between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.
Considering the NBA likes to give teams approximately five days off between games in the postseason, the Cavaliers have a chance to enjoy a ton of rest. While the Cavaliers are not old in most spots, they can certainly use the rest. LeBron James has gone to the NBA Finals in each of the past five seasons both with the Miami Heat and Cavaliers, so any time he can use for his feet to be up is a beautiful thing. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving can sit back and relax, meaning the injury-prone yet ultra-talented guard won’t be hurt.
In the postseason, the less games always equals better. Some like to talk about getting rusty, but a veteran team like Cleveland needs to rest and stay away from the injury bug. Simply look at the Golden State Warriors, who watched in sheer horror as reigning Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry sprained his knee in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets after injuring his ankle earlier in the series. On the flip side, the San Antonio Spurs demolished the Memphis Grizzlies in four games, and now wait healthy.
The Cavaliers will be getting to the Finals without much issue. The East is better than it used to be, but the conference still does not offer any real resistance to James and his band of sidekicks. Cleveland will hammer either Boston or Atlanta, and then trounce the Heat or Toronto Raptors come the conference finals. Nobody really believes that any of these teams can push the Cavaliers into a a seventh game, let alone actually beat it.
This is all about getting to the Finals without any injuries and plenty of gas left in the tank. It would be far from shocking if the Cavaliers knock off their next for in four or five games, giving them one more nice rest before what could be at least a minor challenge.
At this juncture, Cleveland is taking care of business. There was some sloppy play against the Pistons, but the job got done. Now the Cavaliers have to keep the train rolling and stay healthy, something they could not do last season with both Love and Irving sidelined in the Finals.
For the Cavaliers, the first round was a success. Now the hard work begins.