Amico: Quick dribbles on ‘underdog’ Cavs

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers, who begin their Finals rematch with the Warriors on Thursday.

1. Whoever thought a team with LeBron James would be considered David to someone else’s Goliath?

2. Actually, that would be understandable in the early years of James’ career. The Cavs were heavy underdogs to the Spurs in the Finals of 2007 — and rightfully so. But now? James is a two-time champion, a four-time MVP, and has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love beside him.

3. Still, the Cavs are the underdogs. Not necessarily according to me, but clearly according to the rest of the basketball-loving universe. (Oh, and the oddsmakers.)

4. Now, again, it may be understandable. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors have been riding their magical basketball train for nearly two years. They defend, they make shots, they play together, they play like champions. They won 73 doggone games, man.

5. The Cavs? Well, they’ve looked excellent for 11 and a half games of the postseason. For the other game and a half, they stunk. Their playoff record is 12-2. The Warriors are 12-5. The Cavs have been a better playoff team. But yes, I consider the competition.

6. Honestly, I don’t get too bothered by any of it. These teams just need a game. LeBron and the Cavs have pressure — because they’re supposed to be better this time around, with a healthy Irving and Love. The Warriors have pressure, too — because not winning a title will make their 73-9 season seem pointless.

7. Granted, none of this is actually true. Nobody here is a big loser. But only one team can win. Whoever doesn’t will almost certainly have an excellent shot to do it again next season.

8. Of course, nothing is a given. People get injured. Teams can suddenly forget how to be cohesive. The grind of the season can wear on even the brightest of stars. So it’s best to try to focus on the present and try to win it all now.

9. Either way, I know you’re all nervous. I don’t blame you. You think about losing again to the Warriors — and it’s anxiety city. Or if you’re a Warriors fan (and I know some of you read, and I am grateful for it), you think about 73-9 potentially going to waste — and it’s anxiety city for you, too.

10. Bottom line? Well, as LeBron said, “Underdog, overdog … it’s all stupidity.” And he’s right. Regardless of what you read, hear or watch on TV, nothing is settled until one team wins four more. So try to just enjoy the ride. And oh, save me a seat in anxiety city. I’ll be right there with you.

11. Finally, if you want my prediction, check out my podcast with Jeff Phelps and Les Levine. Listen here.

1 Comment on "Amico: Quick dribbles on ‘underdog’ Cavs"

  1. Beany Boy | June 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm |

    There’s no need to fear. Underdog is here.

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