Tag Archives: Cleveland Cavs

Just Hold On Cleveland, Your Championship is Coming

Cleveland fans will have to wait at least one more year. Photo Courtesy: @espn

I know what you’re thinking Cleveland fans, “We’re cursed.” “The Drive”, “The Fumble”, “The Shot”, “The Move”, “The Error”, “The Sweep”, “The Decision” and now this. What are you going to call the 2015 Playoffs and Finals, “The Injuries”?

Without the injuries this team would’ve won it all, and easily. That’s not hard to see having watched this series. Even without both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving this team was up 2-1. They should have been up 3-0 if LeBron hits the walk off jumper to avoid overtime in game one, and that would’ve prevented Irving from getting hurt in overtime.

This team will be back. I hear you, “we thought the same in 2007 when we got swept by the Spurs and it took us eight years to get back.” True, but this isn’t the same LeBron James or Cavs team. Heck, it even looks like a different organization from the way they acquired talent to surround James. LBJ is in his prime and will be there for at least another three or four years. The self-proclaimed “Best Player in the World” proved it averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assist per game in the Finals.

Mark my words, we will see THIS LeBron from jump next season. Mix this style of play with the taste of bitter disappointment from being this close, and that’s a recipe for disaster for opponents.

Most importantly, he will have two All-Star’s rejoining him next season—that is if Kevin Love is true to his word about resigning with Cleveland.

Personally I didn’t think the Cavs needed Kevin Love to get to the Finals and this playoff run proved me right. The emergence of Tristan Thompson doesn’t happen if Love is playing and he brings an inside toughness that Love doesn’t provide. I was one of those who thought keeping Andrew Wiggins to be the third option after Kyrie Irving would set Cleveland up to win multiple titles and build a dynasty well into LBJ’s late thirties, but I’ll get off that soapbox. For now.

Anyway, this unit will also have the added experience of being in playoff battles that ended two wins from a Championship. You couldn’t say that before this past April.

Unless Commissioner Silver is going to reassign the Cavs to the Western Conference for some reason they’ll still be the run away best team from top to bottom in the Eastern Conference.

The drought is almost over. Keep being “Believeland”, this team just showed you why you won’t have to wait another fifty-one years for a pro sports title. You may only have to wait fifty-two weeks.

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I Guess LeBron Does Love the Pressure

See what I did there?

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LBJ now heads a younger, more talented Big three in Cleveland.

Now that the deal that’s been done for two months is OFFICIAL, we can finally discuss, criticize or ridicule, what this means for Cleveland and more importantly LeBron James.

When James announced his triumphant return to the Cleveland Cavs as a free agent on July 11th, one sticking point in his fantastic, impassioned essay was that his goal was to bring one championship to his title starved home area. He went on to say he knows it’s going to take time, because of the inexperience of the Cavs roster, it’s coaching staff and his experience from his first season on South Beach. But you can throw all those sentiments into Lake Erie now.

Fans, media and even LeBron haters were honestly happy with Him for returning home. There were those who were willing to let him off the “Jordan Quest” hook he’d been on since he entered the league in 2003. Many people said now all he has to do is win one Larry O’Brien trophy for this city that hasn’t had a winner since 1954. There would no longer be comparisons to Michael Jordan and his six rings, because as LeBron said, one ring in Cleveland is worth more than one anywhere else. There were those that were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that has been thrown in the Cuyahoga river.

With the acquisition of Kevin Love and a stable of veterans with Championship experience—Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and eventually Ray Allen—and chemistry with LeBron the expectations have risen. Vegas has the with the best odds to win the 2015 NBA title and many “experts” are all ready to hand them at least the 2015 Eastern Conference crown. In Love, James has by far the most talent teammate he will have played with in their prime—with respect to Dwayne Wade. With Kyrie Irving, he’s the only player James will have played with that can more than adequately relieve him of all the ball handling and distributing responsibilities.

Now that the organization has exported the youth to import some experience, the message is clear, the Cavs aren’t willing to wait for that one title LeBron hopes to bring. They want it now! That’s going to create a pressure equally or greater than the kind felt when LBJ promised eight titles in Miami. Where there once was no expectations, now they’re great expectations. LeBron may have exchanged the humid tropical climate of South Floroda for the harsh bitter cold winters of Northeast Ohio, but he brought plenty of Heat with him. I did it again, I can’t help myself.

Don’t Chase Love, He’ll Come to You

When it comes to Love, those who are meant to be together, will be.

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This is no sappy love story, that came on July 11th when LeBron James announced he’d return to Northeast Ohio for “unfinished business.” This is about the Cleveland Cavaliers pursuit of Kevin Love to create a new big three with James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

The Cavs are in a three team race with the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics to trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 25 year old, three time all star who seems to get double doubles in his sleep.

The T-Wolves are asking both the Warriors and Cavs for everything but stock in opposing teams franchises to pull the trigger. From the Warriors they want emerging star Klay Thompson along with Forward David Lee. From Cleveland, number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins—who now can’t be traded until August 23rd as a condition for signing his rookie contract—as well as 2013 number one overall pick Anthony Bennett and future first round picks; bad deal for Cleveland. Simply put, you don’t give up two overall number one picks this early in their careers before you know their value.

There’s no need to rush to trade for Kevin Love now. Even though statistically he’d be a better front court sidekick than Chris Bosh was to LeBron on South Beach, he’s not going to make Cleveland a championship contender this season any more than the young guys already on the roster. Love has NEVER played in the playoffs like over half of the players on the Cavs current roster. There are growing pains this team needs to experience, ones LeBron already went through during his first seven seasons in Cleveland and season number one on South Beach.

Even if the Cavs were to acquire Love and miraculously get out of the east, everyone knows the real NBA Finals will be the Western Conference Finals, because they’re clearly the varsity to the Eastern Conference’s JV. So why not wait and see what the current edition of the a Cavs can do with time to work together, before mortgaging your future.

LeBron James said in his impassioned essay that his goal is to bring one championship to Cleveland. If they holdout for Love to become a free agent in the summer of 2015, they can sign him and add him to the youthful pieces already in the Cavs organization to possibly set themselves up to win not one, not two, not three, but multiple titles in years to come. As well as keep talent to continue their winning ways when LeBron retires.

Right now it may seem as if the T-Wolves have all the leverage, but as it gets closer to the trade deadline and Love makes it clear he won’t re-sign them or with any team that tries to “rent” him for a half season, all looks well for Cleveland to sign him outright in the summer of 2015.

If it’s cap space they’re worried about, by keeping Wiggins and Bennett, management can assess their value at the end of the season and see what assets—like future 1st round picks—they can acquire from teams in exchange for them. This will also allow them to make room to pay Love, while giving the Cavs more to build with down the line. The leverage is with the Cavs.

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James and Love would immediately be the best front court in the League.

Love has already said he would sign long term with the Cavs if LeBron was there. He is now. So like a guy who has a crush on a girl, ladies (Cleveland) he WANTS you. Don’t blow it by getting desperate and giving up something valuable too soon (innuendo intended).

The Reconciliation: Should LBJ Return to Cleveland?

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Happy days could return soon for Cleveland fans.

Mike Brown did. The head coach with the best win percentage and only NBA Finals appearance in Cavalier history returned—and has since been let go again—three years after he was fired in an attempt to tantalize LeBron James to stay and not leave via free agency. Zydrunus Ilgauskus did. Big Z made his own “Decision” to leave Cleveland and follow LeBron to Miami to chase championships. He wasn’t vilified like LBJ, but several fans were unhappy with him. Ilgauskus now has his number eleven Cavs jersey hanging from the rafters and has a prominent position in the organization. But neither of them were disrespected on their way out the door by owner Dan Gilbert the way LeBron James was.

Four years ago when LeBron James announced his “Decision” to leave Northeast Ohio and take his talents to South Florida, Cavs fans were understandably grief stricken and stunned. Several of them burned his number twenty three jersey deep into the dark of the night and into the dawn of the morning. But, it was Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert who shocked everyone with his response to the franchises’ best player bolting for greener pastures when he wrote his passionate, albeit bitter letter—which has since been removed from the team’s website after having been posted for the last four years—to Cavs fans demeaning James.

In the days after the letter was written and posted, Civil Rights activist Jesse Jackson said Gilbert looked at James as a “runaway slave” and that he sounded like “the owner of LeBron James, not the Cleveland Cavaliers.” To me it read more like a letter from a ex-wife or girlfriend trying to make herself look better by telling the new, younger, more attractive lady he left her for, about his impotency issues or how inadequate her new mate would be, while exposing the many insecurities they spoke about over pillow talk. For those who may have forgotten about said letter, below is a refresher.

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The Letter was taken taken down for the first time almost four years to the day.

If LeBron James decides to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, many will see it as the equivalent of a runaway slave returning to live and work for his scorned owner. Somebody would have to get Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton on the phone to discuss that. But, we all know, there are many who wish LeBron never play for Cleveland as long as Gilbert is the owner.

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Actor Laz Alonso is one of many who think James should NEVER play for Gilbert again.

I prefer to look at what impact a reconciliation would have on the court. From a basketball standpoint it would make sense for LeBron to once again don the wine and gold. Point Guard Kyrie Irving has blossomed into an All Star who can take the ball handling, scoring and distributing responsibilities off of LBJ. Irving could also benefit from playing next to a superstar in James who will draw ninety percent of opposing teams attention. Andrew Wiggins, who many analysis have compared to a young LeBron James, could now be groomed to be Scottie Pippen to James’ Jordan. You mix in a savvy veteran in Anderson Varajeo, a up and coming dominate front court player in Tristan Thompson, along with a scoring threat off the bench in Dion Waiters and you already have a mix better than what is left on South Beach. All Cavs fans will have to hope is that 2013 number one overall draft pick Anthony Bennett gives them something and LeBron James would be surrounded by talent that could extended his championship window in the way Tim Duncan’s has been by the wealth of talent running with him along the Alamo in San Antonio.

Pat Riley and the Heat could possibly retool the roster to keep Miami in contention for another two to three years—although I don’t think adding a past his prime All-Star in Danny Granger and a journeyman in Josh McRoberts are the answer to anything the Western Conference has to offer in an NBA Finals.

Also, with Dwayne Wade getting older and looking more like a shell of himself and couldn’t raise his game in the Finals to give the Spurs a fight, wouldn’t it be better for James to go team up and teach some young guns, even if it meant taking a step back off the Championship stage for a year or two in order to be there consistently at the end of his career?

Cleveland and their fans are the most loyal and hopeful in sports. I truly mean that (this is coming from a Steelers fan). It would be cool to see the player who has the ability of bringing the city it’s first championship in five decades return and possibly end the drought. Like many, I too wish for his sake, he didn’t have to do it for an owner who went out of his way to diminish his character and ability. It will leave a bad taste in many people’s mouth to see him put that wine and gold uniform back on. But, LeBron returning to his home area as a “prodigal son” of sorts would be great theatre, regardless of if he wins them a title or not. So the real question is, can bitter Exes really get back together?