Anyone else feeling a bit apprehensive as the NBA Playoffs get underway today? No, I'm not talking about the whole Cleveland Curse or anything like that. My nature, I tend to flow upstream against public perception. That's why this series, and the playoffs in general, have me up at night. Everyone is not only picking the Cavaliers to get to the Finals, they are expecting it.
I do as well, and somewhere along winning 66 games it has become a common perception that anything less than winning it all would make '08-'09 a disappointment. I still can't help but worry about the negative karma that comes when everyone thinks something is going to happen, with relative ease no less.
Take John Hollinger for instance. It's one thing when all his computer modeling has the Cavs winning it all. It's another when, in giving his scouting report for the Pistons series he provides us with this insider tidbit -
Cleveland (91%) vs. Detroit (9%): Let's not waste everybody's time.
My prediction: Cavs in 4
These guys can't even fake it anymore.
Now, don't disguise my feelings of apprehension with a lack of confidence in the Cavaliers. Quite the opposite. This team, on paper at least, has the best chance to bring Cleveland a Championship since the 1995 Indians. Sure, other teams have gotten closer, but this team has it all and has what some of those other teams did not - incredible locker room chemistry, not to mention the best player in the game.
No, I still think the Cavs will be in The Finals and I think the ability to play LeBron James 48 minutes per game, if needed, makes the Cavaliers even stronger now that during the regular season, but when your personality is to buck the Mainstream, well, let's just say it is hard to watch TV or read the papers.
Thankfully the waiting is over and the games begin. The Q will be rocking and the Cavaliers at 16 wins from glory!