The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the #1 seeded Atlanta Hawks in impressive fashion with a 118 - 88 thumping to finish the 4-game sweep of the Eastern Conference Finals and punch their tickets to the 2015 NBA Finals. They will face the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. Northeast Ohio's prodigal son, Lebron James nearly averaged a triple-double for the entire series with 30.3 points per game, 11.0 rebounds per game and 9.3 assists per game. He could have become the only player in the history of the NBA to average 30, 10 and 10 for a triple-double in a series, but came just a few assists short, primarily because of sitting out the entire 4th quarter with the game well at hand. All Star point guard Kyrie Irving provided a spark tonight by starting and providing the Cavaliers with a much needed scoring punch with 16 points in 21 minutes to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebound. It appears that the NBA world may get the marquee match up they want if the Golden State Warriors can take care of business against the Rockets to setup a Stephen Curry versus Lebron James showdown.
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NBA Eastern Conference Finals
Thus far the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals has been dominated by the Cleveland Cavaliers despite the adversity and injuries that they have dealt with throughout the post season. They lost All-Star Power Forward Kevin Love in the first round due to a dislocated shoulder, J.R. Smith had served a 2-game suspension and now the All-Star Point Guard Kyrie Irving is dealing with both a right ankle sprain and tendinitis in his left knee. The injuries have been frustrating, to say the least, but it hasn't stopped the Cavs from advancing through the playoffs and they currently hold a commanding 2 - 0 games lead against the #1 seeded Atlanta Hawks. Cleveland has transformed from one of the worst defensive teams in the beginning of the regular season to the best defensive team in the post season. Irving's effectiveness has digressed throughout the last few playoff rounds and has become so frustrated with his lingering injuries that he had reportedly sought out a second opinion on his left knee tendinitis with the heralded orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to be ensured that there was no additional damage as a result of his attempts to play through the pain. The MRI conducted by Dr Andrews confirmed there was no additional damage that would require surgery and offered a different remedy plan to treat Irving's tendinitis. The dilemma that the Cavaliers face is whether to preserve their star point guard for a potential NBA Finals appearance at as close to 100% as possible or getting him back out on the court against a struggling, but dangerous Atlanta Hawks team to reassure their advancement to the final round of the playoffs against the Western Conference Champion. The current predicament appears to sway in the direction of holding him out as long as possible because the team looks like they could capture the Eastern Conference Title without his services after claiming both games in Atlanta with the series moving to Cleveland for Games 3 & 4 starting Sunday. It basically comes down to if you would rather have Kyrie Irving at maybe 50% for the Eastern Conference Final round or have him at maybe 85% - 90% for the NBA Finals against a more formidable opponent.