The Cleveland Cavaliers made short work of the Toronto Raptors, cruising past a team that many perceived as their toughest challenger in the Eastern Conference. Seemingly on cue, the Golden State Warriors accomplished a similar feat, needing only the four-game minimum to dispatch a deep, talented Utah Jazz team and advance to the Western Conference Finals. In fact, both the Cavs and Warriors needed only eight games to reach the NBA’s “Final Four” and, well, it would be impossible to ask for more than that from either side.
Led by arguably the best 11-game stretch (dating back to three slightly important NBA Finals games) of LeBron James’ career, the Cavaliers currently sport a video game-like 117.0 offensive rating in the postseason. In short, Cleveland has been utterly unguardable, and while the Indiana Pacers did not present much of a fight, the same cannot be said about the Raptors from a talent standpoint. James, when surrounding by bench shooting, has been unstoppable and the Cavaliers have been more than able to overcome mediocre defensive effort when boasting an uber-elite offense.
On the Warriors side, it has been two-way dominance, much in the way that it has been all season long. Golden State entered the playoffs as prohibitive favorites to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy and there is no reason to move away from that belief now. Kevin Durant has been fully reintegrated, the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is cooking and the Warriors have presented (easily) the best defense in the league during the postseason.