Cavaliers fans believe, but odds-makers in Vegas and sports experts have a different take on whether Cleveland will repeat as NBA champs.
ESPN.com consulted the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook:
2017 NBA Title Odds (as of April 13)
Golden State Warriors 1-2
Cleveland Cavaliers 7-2
San Antonio Spurs 9-1
Boston Celtics 20
LA Clippers 25
OddsShark.com writer Stephen Campbell says of the Cavs: "Cleveland bumbled and stumbled its way to the second seed in the East thanks to a 10-14 record since March 1, and a litany of defensive issues are the biggest reason why. I’m not expecting that type of play to continue, though." Check the odds here.
Sports Information Traders, which Forbes.com cites in its odds roundup, puts Cleveland's chances of ultimate victory at 19/5 (behind Golden State and ahead of San Antonio).
In its predictions, FiveThirtyEight.com is less than optimistic about Cleveland's odds, giving the Cavs a meager 2 percent chance of winning it all. Read about how the site came up with its predictions here.
Who will be 2016-17 MVP?
FiveThirtyEight.com's writers have identified a number of candidates, weighing the stats and the arguments for each.
Here are three of note:
Ian Levy on Lebron James: "Greatness is often easier to recognize when it looks like nothing we’ve seen before."
Benjamin Morris on Stephen Curry: "It almost goes without saying that Stephen Curry is the best player on the best team in basketball — the first team in history to win at least 67 games three seasons in a row."
Kyle Wagner on Russell Westbrook: "His season-long triple-double is a historic accomplishment, and its grandeur only grows when adjusted to account for the way the game is played today."
The folks over at TheRinger.com are also weighing in. In this article, they give Stephen Curry short shrift, mostly focusing on LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden.