Cleveland Cavaliers guard, LeBron James is no stranger to the NBA Finals. He was able to make his first Finals appearance in 2007, where the San Antonio Spurs swept him. After joining the Miami Heat he would appear in his second NBA Finals in 2011 but wouldn’t leave with an NBA Championship. This was the beginning of a LeBron James’ NBA Finals streak. Since then James has appeared in every NBA Finals.
Taking a look at LeBron James’ NBA Finals streak:
2011: The Dallas Mavericks defeat the Miami Heat in the first year of the big three era.
2013: The Miami Heat win back-to-back NBA championships after defeating the Spurs in a tough seven-game series.
2014: A 2013 rematch but this time the Spurs come out on top and end the short-lived big three era.
2015: LeBron James leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in his first year back but is defeated by the Golden State Warriors.
2016: After being down 3-1, James was able to come back and defeat the Golden State Warriors. Bringing the first NBA Championship to Cleveland.
2017: A Kevin Durant led Golden State Warriors team defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The question now is will the Cleveland Cavaliers have what it takes to continue this streak for LeBron James? After appearing in every NBA Finals since 2011 reaching the Finals for a LeBron James led team was becoming the norm. But with recent roster changes, it may not be as clear as in recent years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving. Irving requested a trade after discovering that the organization was including him in trade discussions. Losing your starting point guard will have an impact on any team. They are the one that controls the ball the majority of the time and the person who overall runs your team.
Some teams have a smooth transition after gaining a new point guard but sometimes the transition can be a struggle. On the bright side, the Cleveland Cavaliers are replacing Kyrie Irving with another high caliber point guard. But on the dark side Irving’s replacement, Isaiah Thomas is currently dealing with a hip injury. New players have to spend time learning the system of their new team and dealing with an injury makes it difficult.
Having LeBron James, arguably the best player currently in the NBA on your team always gives you some advantage. But when you come up against other great players you will have to rely on more than just talent. Your team chemistry can lead you to beat a team full of great players but also having terrible team chemistry can have you losing to a team full of average players. Team chemistry is something that you never know how long it will take to develop. Players may play well immediately or it may take months for everyone to get on the same page. I believe this will be the biggest obstacle to ensure that the Finals streak of LeBron James continues.
I believe for the Cleveland Cavaliers the pieces are there. Their job is going to be able to make sure all the pieces fit together. The main goal for the Cavaliers during the regular season should be to build team chemistry while making sure everyone knows their role on the team. They have all the types of players needed to have a great team but they will have to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the biggest challenges won’t be for the players on the court but instead the people on the sidelines in suits. All of these tasks are task that will need to be fulfilled by the coaching staff. It’s their job to figure out playing time for each player and also lineups that work well. If they are able to form a great team chemistry before the playoffs, I see no reason LeBron’s Finals streak will end in 2018.
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