Lebron James has matured. The supporting cast is better than ever. It's James' seventh year; Jordan won it in his seventh year. No other East team can compete with the Cavs.
Those are all sentiments tossed around. They all might be true, but, really, so what? The same illusions were here last year, and even the year prior to that.
Listen to me when I say this: There is no way in the name of Kobe Bryant that the Cavaliers will win a championship this year.
First and foremost, there are four competitors headed into the Eastern play offs that shouldn't have much trouble handling Cleveland: Orlando, Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte.
Orlando beat them last year, which would mean the momentum would be swinging in their favor.
If every one is healthy on Boston, and playing to almost full potential, Boston could honestly still be the second best post season team in the league behind the Lakers.
LeBron knows this. And so does Boston. Though Cleveland would have a true shot at beating the Celts, Boston would hold a better shot.
Atlanta has probably the best option in shutting down James in Josh Smith. This may sound crazy, but this match up come to life in the playoffs, I would hold no surprise in seeing James average around 20-23 points being guarded by Smith.
Not only is Smith a great shut down man-on-man defender, he is probably the only, apart for Howard, player in the league who could not be scared in going up to block one of Lebron's un-human dunks.
James frustrated would devastate Cleveland, and completely ruin their chances. Atlanta wins this match up.
Then we have Charlotte; those of you who don't watch either of these teams might chuckle at this prediction. But one stat is all you need: the Bobcats dominated the season series 3-0, winning convincingly in all three games.
This team can run with LeBron and the Cavs, and could pose huge problems for Cleveland with Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson.
If this series should happen, save your time by saying bye to LeBron now.
Let's hypothesize Cleveland wins the East. They will almost surely face the Lakers or the Nuggets.
The Lakers would crush, Kobe out dueling Lebron, whilst the Nuggets have an experienced point guard, and more options.
I would bet on this: no matter what team come out of the West, they're beating the Cavs.
Or any other Eastern team.