After years where the Western Conference dominated in every way, the 15 teams that make up the East actually have more parity this season. As a result, the No. 1 Cavaliers facing the No. 8 Pistons is clearly a more interesting series than the evisceration that the Warriors will perform on Houston in their first round 1 vs. 8 matchup.
With that said, Cleveland is still a heavy favorite, and Detroit just isn't there yet. With Stan Van Gundy at the helm and in the front office, the Pistons have constructed an intriguing lineup, one centered around the Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond pick-and-roll just like the Dwight Howard teams of old that Van Gundy coached in Orlando. Players like Tobias Harris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris are all good, versatile wings to fill out the Detroit system, but the bench unit simply isn't there yet and the starting five hasn't shown enough consistency.
The consistency contrast is interesting when you look at the Cavaliers, the most bizarre team in the NBA. They easily took the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 57 wins, but there was enough drama surrounding them from the season's start for a midday soap opera starring LeBron James as the gossiping protagonist.
Still, bad losses and weird headlines aside, the Cavaliers are very good, while Detroit is still learning to be average. LeBron James lost his jump shot sometime last year and by refocusing himself as an attack the basket player, has put up a season worthy of an MVP trophy if not for the impossible Stephen Curry. The Cavaliers may run into trouble this postseason, but it probably won't happen as early as the first round.
How to watch Cavaliers vs. Pistons Game 1
Place: Quicken Loans Arena
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Streaming: ABC Live
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