LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers failed to secure the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and ended the 2016-17 NBA regular season at the No. 2 spot. However, “The King” believes the Cavaliers are in a strong position to repeat as NBA champions.
“We have a good chance to win it all,” James said Thursday following the Cavs’ first practice since learning that the Indiana Pacers would be their first-round opponent (Game 1, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC). “But, it starts with baby steps first, and we understand that. It starts with our opponent in two days. We have to be very determined, but we also have to be very smart about our game plan and how we execute that game plan, execute that [for as close to] 48 minutes as possible starting with Game 1.”
NBA Playoffs 2017: LeBron James, Cavs face Pacers in the first round
After falling to the No. 2 spot, the Cavaliers will face the No. 7 seed Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Most people see the Cavaliers easily reaching the second round since they beat the Pacers in three out of four games this season. However, no one can accurately predict what will happen and fans will surely wait for the upcoming matchup between LeBron James and Paul George.
The arrival of Lance Stephenson proves to be a perfect timing for the Pacers. Stephenson is known as the “LeBron James Stopper” with his ability to defend and distract “The King” in a game. Limiting James’ production would be a key strategy for the Pacers if they want to beat the Cavaliers in a best-of-seven series.
LeBron James confident to reach NBA Finals for seventh straight year
The Cavaliers went through plenty of ups and downs this season. Despite successfully upgrading their roster, the newcomers struggled to build good chemistry with the team. However, LeBron James remains confident he’s on his way for his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance.
“I think through everything that went on with our team, we’re in a position where we can do something special still,” James said. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to harp on what happened in the regular season through injuries, through bad losses, through good wins, through whatever the case may be. We have a good club going into the postseason. That’s all you can ask for.”
James knows the Cavaliers have the ability to dominate the Eastern Conference. In the past two seasons, Cleveland easily beat every team they faced in the East playoffs. As most people expect, the Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.
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