The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t exactly certain just who they’ll be and what their approach will fully consist of come Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night in Oakland, where ticket prices will range at an average of $1,345.81, with a get in of $557.
And that’s just what makes the Cavs so dangerous. At no time in recent playoff memory has a team proven itself more capable of being able to recreate itself on the fly than these ultra- resilient Cavaliers. Not only are they fun to watch, but they’ve still been able to maintain elite status, which is one reason why Cavaliers tickets have been such a hot item after securing their first Eastern Conference title since 2007. In fact, as evident with the prices for Game 1 thus far, NBA Finals tickets are attracting tremendously high numbers.
No Kevin Love — fine, Tristan Thompson will more than suffice. No J.R. Smith for a critical stretch — cool, Iman Shumpert will get his chance to shine. And how about sophomore Matthew Dellavedova, the suddenly hotshot guard who has stepped up serviceably subbing for oft-hobbled All-Star guard Kyrie Irving?
Certainly, all those interchangeable parts are left much easier to maneuver when one LeBron James stands as the master puppeteer pulling all the strings. In a word, James’ playoff run has been spellbinding.
It goes far beyond the numbers, though a stat line average of 28 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists pretty much speaks for itself. In addition to that, The King has done a remarkable job getting everyone involved, making certain all his teammates have a role in the high-flying production the Cavs have become synonymous with.
After averaging just five points and three assists over the regular season, Dellavedova has logged double-figures in points five times over his last ten games, including averaging 13 a night in the Cavs’ last three wins over the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
James’ reach and influence has perhaps been even more pronounced in the case of the long mercurial Smith. The former Sixth Man of the Year Award winner sulked his way out of New York and seemed to have forever marred his Cleveland experience when he was suspended for the first two games of the Chicago series for foolishly elbowing Boston’s Jae Crowder.
But somehow, someway James was able to keep his head in the game and his focus on the overall mission, and since returning to the lineup eight games ago, Smith has averaged 15 points and six rebounds, as the Cavs have gone 7-1 over that stretch.
However, Cleveland is in for its biggest test to date, facing a team for the NBA Championship that had the best record in basketball over the regular season. For the Cavs to earn their first title in franchise history, everything could ride on the health and availability of Irving (19 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds), as they’re going to have to be as much as full strength as possible with Love sidelined.
Rest assured, Irving and the Cavs’ trainers are working around the clock to have him healthy for the big show. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that James will do everything else that’s needed to make sure he and the Cavaliers are truly ready for what they’ve been playing for all year.