Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cavs give the business on way to second straight Finals

Good times
There was an almost a businesslike atmosphere as Friday night's final buzzer heralded the Cavaliers to their second straight NBA Finals. 

Not to say the team wasn't excited, as hugs were exchanged and daps* given. Locker room footage showed the team dousing each other in water and chocolate milk instead of champagne. Asked by reporters about the lack of post-game bubbly, LeBron James replied matter-of-factly, "We didn't have champagne."

No doubt the celebration got more raucous later in the night, but the team's on-camera demeanor was in some part muted and thoughtful, as if finishing 14-2 in the Eastern Conference playoffs shouldn't be cause for Dom Perignon-spritzing joy.

These Cavs are way past the "glad-to-be-here" stage, even as two members of the Big Three get ready for their first real taste of championship-round basketball. Fully healthy and coming off a series where the average margin of victory was a ridiculous 28 points, this squad is playing the best it ever has a unit.

Obviously, that workmanlike attitude comes from James, who along with teammate James Jones will be tipping off his sixth straight Finals on Thursday. This latest run started two summers ago with a famous 'Coming home' letter, where James and/or his marketing team told a hungry fanbase that nothing is given, everything is earned.

Similar sentiments came from James early this morning after putting the Raptors to bed, as reported by Joe Vardon of "We earned the right to be here and represent the Eastern Conference in The Finals," James said. "We're not supposed to be here. We earned our right."

These words echo over a long year that witnessed a mid-season firing as well as stretches of lackadaisical hoopage where the entire roster was seemingly encased in "chill mode." The Cavs play this post-season has been far from chilly, yet the team remains focused, calm and prepared for that next, final step.

*Author's note: "Dap" is street lingo for the knocking of fists together as a form of greeting or respect.