It’s more obvious to see it now, the Cavaliers are more focused and attentive to what they are competing for, and that’s the title of being called the NBA Champs.
With LeBron James getting an opportunity to get his first ring, and Shaquille O’Neal on the verge of making it a third championship for his team, the Cavaliers are destined to go for the gold. With James being such a dominant player, even his teammates are willing to vouch for his skills.
“I think that last year, because of the way we lost in the Eastern Conference finals, this season has been the moment that (LeBron) has been waiting for, for a long time,” said Cavs forward Antawn Jamison.
“The closer and closer we got to the end of the season, you began to see a different person-in film sessions, in the huddle. You could also sense the demeanor of the entire organization, the team, and everybody changing. The focus is at an ultimate high here.”
Guard Mo Williams believes that during the offseason and throughout practices, the team has strengthened. “We are better than we were last year.”
Although the Cavs won’t admit it, the likelihood is that they’re just as hungrier than ever. The previous years they thought they were starving for a win, but nothing increases hunger like pain, and last year was the first postseason in which the team truly experienced the ache.
Certainly it hurt to lose against the Boston Celtics during the second round of the 2008 playoffs, but the fact remains that the team being led by LeBron had always gone further than they were supposed to; they had always left each season with a silver lining, a moral victory. Back in 2006, they stunned everyone by forcing a seventh game in their second-round loss against the Detroit Pistons. A year later, they upset the Pistons to reach the finals, and in 2008 they were the underdogs against Celtics.
In conclusion, losing when you are expected to lose and losing as everyone’s favorite are two different things. Last year for the first time, James and his team lost a series that they were favored to win; that’ll make a hungry man ravenous. They are looking to make a big statement this year, and that is that they are far from being the underdogs, and they’re not going to let the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team stop them from going to the finals!