The Cleveland Cavaliers magical run to the 2007 NBA finals started with the LeBron James leading the Cavs and finishing with a 50-32 record. That was good for a second place finish in the central division and the Eastern Conference behind the Detroit Pistons. This was the first season Larry Hughes was brought to the Cavaliers to be LeBron’s running mate. It was the first time the Cavaliers made it to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, they ran into a juggernaut known as the San Antonio Spurs.
The first team the Cavs played in the playoffs was the Washington Wizards lead by Gilbert Arenas. This was the second time in two years that we played the Wizards in the first round and they were considered a “rival”. It was a first round sweep especially with Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler having to sit out due to injuries they suffered late in the season. This also was the first playoff sweep for the Cleveland Cavalier’s franchise.
The Eastern Conference semifinals matchup for the Cavs was the New Jersey Nets (Now in Brooklyn). The Cavs took care of the Nets in six games. Jason Kidd was the leader for the Nets and averaged a triple double for the entire playoffs that season. It was the Nets third time being eliminated in the semifinals in four years. The Cavs advanced to the Easter Conference Finals for the first time since 1992.
In the Eastern Conference Finals the Cleveland Cavaliers played The Detroit Pistons. This was a rematch from last year’s semifinals series and was one of the most exciting series in NBA history. The spotlight was on LeBron James especially after last second decisions that cost the Cavs in games one and two. Then the Cavs responded by winning the next three games including a double overtime thriller in game five at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. It was the greatest game I have ever seen played by James. Check out the article “Our Former Great’s Greatest Game”. After the game five explosion, LeBron leaned on rookie Daniel Gibson to shoot the Cavs into the NBA finals. Gibson finished with a career-high 31 points.
The NBA Finals was a matchup with the San Antonito Spurs. This was Tony Parker’s series. Unfortunately, Larry Hughes was hampered by an ankle issue, which gave him no chance to guard Parker. Bruce Bowen and Michael Finley bottled up James, which lead to a 4-0 sweep by the Spurs. It was a good step for the Cavs, however they have not reached the NBA Finals since that season.
During this time it was great to be a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. The entire city was buzzing about the playoff run. Everyone was truly “witnessing” the growth and greatness of LeBron James. The emergence of Daniel “Boobie” Gibson was great for the team especially with his sharpshooting from 3-point land. I will never truly forget my excitement and nervousness that came from watching every Cavs game in the playoffs. This was a great time to be Cavs fan and I hope this sort of success comes from the Cavs again very soon!