NBA Rumors: Are the Cleveland Cavaliers Avoiding the Red-Hot Miami Heat in the Playoffs?
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LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a dunk in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo : Chris Smoove/YouTube)
For the first time this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are not the number one team in the Eastern Conference. The recent struggles by the defending NBA champions have led to the Boston Celtics taking over the top spot. However, are the Cavaliers avoiding the Miami Heat in the playoffs on purpose?
The Cavaliers were atop the Eastern Conference standings until they were defeated and embarrassed by San Antonio Spurs on Monday, per NBA.com. The 29-point defeat gave the Celtics a half game lead for the first seed in the East.
There are a lot of people concerned that the Cavaliers might fail to defend their NBA title in this year’s playoffs. However, other people believe that LeBron James and company are just trying to avoid the hottest team in the NBA, his former team the Miami Heat.
The Heat are the best team in the Eastern Conference for the past two months. They have put on quite an impressive record of 25-8 since Jan. 17 when they were just 11-30 and heading to the lottery. Now, they are looking like a dangerous opponent in the playoffs and they could give the Cavaliers and Celtics a run for their money.
According to Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports, the Cavaliers are better off without the number one seed because of the possible matchups. He pointed out that LeBron James a history of playing great against teams like the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers.
“If I was Cleveland, I would much rather face the Pacers than I would the Celtics face the Heat. Seriously, if I’m the Cavs and I can pick anybody to play, I think it would be Atlanta, and then the Pacers. Those two teams, LeBron has a history of crushing their dreams,” Cowherd said.
Of course, there is no proof that the Cavaliers are losing on purpose because they don’t want to face the Miami Heat. However, they are legitimately struggling with their defense since 2017 started and new players have had an effect on their chemistry.
Nevertheless, LeBron James and the Cavaliers are a different kind of monster in the playoffs. They are still the favorites to win the NBA championship but teams like the Heat, Celtics, Raptors and Wizards have the ability to dethrone them in the East.
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