The 2016 NBA Playoffs are about to begin this Saturday. While the Golden State Warriors chase for 73 wins and Kobe Bryant's last game take the headlines this Wednesday, there is a potential mega-match that will be coming in the playoffs if both teams meet. Those two teams are lead by once teammates Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, and Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have already secured the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Heat are playing Boston tonight for the chance to host the first round at home and be in the number three seed. A lot of people predicted that they would meet in the playoffs at some point. If the Heat lose and fall to the fifth seed, and both teams win their first round match-ups, they will meet in the second round. If the Heat win and both teams win their first two rounds, they will meet in a must see Eastern Conference Finals. (NBA.com) While the Western Conference hosts two teams, Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, that have better chances to win and better records, all eyes will be on the matchup of the Heat versus Cavs. There is a lot of backstory to this relationship.
It started in 2003 when Lebron James was drafted number one overall by Cleveland and Dwyane Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat. The players immediately became friends off the court, and their relationship grew as they competed for gold medals for team USA. In the summer of 2009 Lebron was a free agent and the world tuned in to what is now called "the Decision", when he chose to leave his home of Ohio and the team that drafted him and join forces with Wade in Miami. For the next four years, the Miami Heat where the best team in the Eastern Conference, reaching the NBA Finals four consecutive times, and winning the championship two times.
Lebron James then made the decision to return to Cleveland, to bring a title to his city, but fell short to Golden State last year in six games.
This year it looks like the friends, turned adversaries might meet up again, and while the Cavaliers have James and a better team, Miami has won twice convincingly against Cleveland. (NBA.com) Now history has shown that this might not happen. Miami could only get to 49 wins if they win tonight, and their team history has shown that they have lost in the first round every single time they haven't reached 50 wins. (George) But once the playoffs start, you throw away the records in a wide open Eastern Conference.
After the final game in Miami where the Cavs lost by double digits Lebron spoke to the media and brewed some controversy by saying “The way they’ve beat us here is a little concerning if we face them [in the playoffs]. I think we’ll be ready for it more. We didn’t play with [our] potential. We didn’t play our game. We let them play their game, and they took it to us.” (Curtis)
Either way, every basketball fan will be watching the East playoffs hoping that this matchup comes to fruition. I know I will.