CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cavs bandwagon has lost a few passengers from the national media.
After ending Cleveland’s 52-year title drought, the Cavs not only aren’t expected to repeat as champions, some now believe they won’t even get through the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The defending NBA champions have gone from a “lock” to make a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals to an underdog for some experts who now favor the No. 1 seeded Boston Celtics, third-seeded Toronto Raptors or even the fourth team in the East, the upstart Washington Wizards.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Lue said. “I don’t care. They can say what they want to say. We know we have to play Cavs basketball and if we do that for the playoffs we know we’ll be back but if not, we know it’s going to be a tough road.
“A lot of teams have gotten better and we got to continue to get better throughout the course of these playoffs. I told you at the beginning of the year that it’s not going to be a cakewalk…I don’t care what anybody else says.”
After the Cavs finished the regular season by losing 14 of their final 24 games to fall to the No. 2 seed and then narrowly escaping in Game 1, 109-108, Cleveland has been knocked off the pedestal by the pundits.
They can begin to silence the critics by taking a 2-0 lead on the Pacers with a win Monday night.
Boston lost Game 1 of their series at home to Chicago Sunday while Washington has a 1-0 series lead on Atlanta.