Some nights, this Cleveland Cavaliers team plays as if they can take on those ’95 Chicago Bulls with ease. Everything is there. The defense is intense, and the offense majestically flows. It all clicks. A finished puzzle that results in a sound victory for the Wine & Gold.

This year, we’ve gotten spoiled.

Other nights, thankfully fewer and farer between, the aforementioned description isn’t what we see. The offense is very stagnant with too much 1 v 1 play and not enough movement. The defense becomes lackadaisical. A lot of times, the Cavs play down to their opponent.

As exciting as this season his been, it’s the latter that is concerning. Come post season, it takes flawless play to win a championship. Especially if we don’t have home court advantage – which is likely for the final two rounds. There are no nights off in the postseason.

It’s hard to bring it every night for 82 games. The NBA features a very long schedule that spans for months. Human nature is the reason why bad teams occasionally upset those with much more talent.

So in the regular season, fine. There has to be a free pass for some games, because that’s just how the league works. However, come post season there’s no such thing as “some nights.” Every night, led by LeBron James, this team must be ready to kick some ass. The need for the “Eye of the Tiger” must be there every single minute of every single game…or else we’ll have an early exit from post season play. There will be no championship banner, and no parade on East 9th.

Definitely, these Cavaliers have been fun to watch. A year ago, we were satisfied with any type of gallant effort against a good team. Now, any loss is considered a disappointment – even if it’s against the best teams in the league. It’s amazing that we were able to suffer for those four years without King James.

My point in writing this is that to be the best in the world you have to bring that fire every game in the post season. For many of the Cavaliers, including Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, this will be their first postseason bout. It’s an exciting achievement but also comes with the adjustment of the raised intensity. There are no nights off like we’ve seen from this team recently in Brooklyn and Miami.

To secure that coveted title, the Cavs must be ready to fight the hardest battle of their entire lives. If that happens, this team has too much talent not to win.

It’s going to be an amazing ride.

-Zach Shafron

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