By Stefan Anderson
June 16th caused a major shift in the balance of power for the NBA. The Golden State Warriors captured their first title in 40 years and the Cleveland Cavaliers still have that bitter taste of the finals loss.
Today on Christmas, we will finally get see the unanswered questions.
What if Cleveland had their big three? Would Stephen Curry be able to attack Kyrie Irving and make him look inadequate like the other guards he faced in the postseason? So many questions and now we finally get our answers today.
The most important question, has Lebron James’s crown been taken by Stephen Curry?
This is reminiscent of few years ago when Kobe Bryant was the alpha dog and an emerging Lebron James was coming to heir the throne and had to face off against him on Christmas day. James was 3-0 versus Bryant and ultimately took the NBA by storm. This win could be important for Curry as he puts his exclamation mark that he is the best player in the league.
Curry, fresh off his first championship and MVP award has shown no signs of slowing down and is playing at even higher level than the previous season. “Chef Curry” has seen a spike in each category other than assists and free throw percentage and his team is right along with him at astonishing 27-1 record.
But while Warriors are on a remarkable run, the balance of power in conferences has shifted as well. With the Eastern Conference being known as the weaker conference, we have seen more teams in the East improve as the 9th best team in the East, Boston, has same record as the 3rd best record in the West, the Clippers.
But as the East has gotten better, Cleveland still remains the best team in the conference and King James and Co, are headed back to full strength with the return of Kyrie Irving and Mo Williams and have to show that are just as superior as the Warriors.
The Warriors 1st ranked pace could be damaging for the Cavs 28th ranked pace, but it could also hurt Golden State as well. Unlike Golden State who has 13.5 point differential are not used to playing close like Cleveland. Cleveland has played in 8 games with the score was decided by 5 or less unlike Golden State that only played in four games.
But it will not be easy as King James is “Mr.Christmas”, averaging 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds and seven wins in his nine holiday appearances.
This will be an interesting matchup and will serve as an evaluation for the rest of the NBA to see who the real powerhouse team is.