The Cleveland Cavaliers finished the regular season last season with a record of 53-29. That was good enough for 2nd in the Eastern Conference. After a tougher than expected first series against the Boston Celtics, the Cavaliers swept them 4-0. They suffered a tough loss when they heard news that power forward Kevin Love would miss the rest of the playoffs after injuring his shoulder in the Celtics series.
The next series would be against the #3 seeded Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers very nearly went down in the series 3-1 against the Bulls and faced a real possibility of being eliminated but were able to bounce back and tie the series at 2-2. They took the next two games and finished 4-2. Kyle Korver of the #1 seeded Atlanta Hawks injured his ankle in the Eastern Conference Finals and was out. That was a devastating blow to the Atlanta Hawks and the Cavaliers were able to sweep 4-0.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Warriors took the ever important Game 1, 108-100 (OT). The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving, went down with an injury that game and didn’t return. They later found out it is a fractured knee cap and he will miss the rest of the series. Both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, 2 of the big 3, are out with injury. When all was looking lost, the Cavaliers took Game 2 in OT, 95-93, and Game 3, 96-91. They were up 2-1 now. Those would be the last two games that the Cavaliers would win in the series as the Warriors won the next three: 103-82, 104-91, and 105-97, winning the series.
Cavaliers didn’t really lose anything significant. Shawn Marion retired and Kendrick Perkins left for the Pelicans. Both were rarely used anyway. Cavaliers retained J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Kevin Love, Matthew Dellavedova, and are on their way to retaining Tristan Thompson. They were able to add veterans Richard Jefferson and Mo Williams to their squad over the season. Also, Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving will all be returning from injury eventually throughout the season. They will be the top team in the Eastern Conference this upcoming season. I have them ranked #3 in my NBA Power Rankings. With all their key players returning from injury and their additions, I have the Cleveland Cavaliers trending upwards as they make another championship run.