Circumstances may be different in June if either team makes a substantial move at the trade deadline or injury hits, but with all the key characters healthy and playing on Monday, it was an opportunity to glean some information. They were considered vulnerable for parts of last season, but still ripped through the Eastern Conference with staggering ferocity, losing only one game before the NBA Finals.
Furthermore, numerous wins were racked up against inferior opponents. It might be a lot of fun to think about the Celtics' chances of beating this version of the Cavaliers come playoff time, but that could just get in the way of developing the way they need to. The Warriors are now regarded as the 11/20 to win their third crown in four years and the Cavaliers are the justified second favourites at 5/1, but the Rockets are still value for money at the 8/1 which is now on offer.
The Cavs had gained the upper hand in the NBA's rivalry of the moment after their 2015-16 title, but since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors, Cleveland is just 2-7 against the historically stacked operation. Nobody else does. And LeBron has reached seven straight Finals.
Last night, they simply could not stop Golden State, nor even slow them down. "The second half was kind of tough, but we still got the win". "Like our effort tonight". Day, there's absolutely no doubt that the Golden State Warriors game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena had been the most anticipated.
With LeBron James approaching free agency in July, the Cavs front office is reportedly banking on Brooklyn's pick to land them their next franchise star. The question is whether that potential will ever be realized.
But James feels like this season has been even more hard than past ones.
Isaiah Thomas has played in only five games thus far this season, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone an unexpected 1-4 with him on the floor, which has led to a great deal of frustration for the 5-foot-9 dynamo.
"I just want him to take the shots that are given to him", said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. It is panic time for some fans as well because this might be the last time they head towards the postseason with #LeBron James on the team. It's not about the amount of shots, it's the amount of good shots. Then they got blown off the court again, this time in Toronto by the Raptors on Thursday, before giving up a 22-point lead in a loss to the Pacers on Friday. Also, since Favors is clearly no DeAndre Jordan, the Cavs could send Tristan Thompson to Utah and maybe even offer their own late first round pick to get Favors. And Thomas' hip injury meant he couldn't debut for the Cavs until the team's 127-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on January 2. They only shot 37.5 percent from three-point range in last night's win over the Cavs, gave up 62 points in the paint, and trailed for most of the first half - yet still won easily.
That could also include an adjustment period that any sort of major trade would bring.