CANTON, Ohio- It started in the first week of January. And it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to need to make some moves and find motivation to get through the dog days of the NBA’s regular season.
Right now, the NBA isn’t exactly in must watch mode. Sure, you’ll watch the top contender’s face-off just to see how they play one another. But, like MLB in May, June and July, people aren’t swarming to watch the NBA right now.
So, what does that have to do with the Cavs and their recent struggles? I understand that the players aren’t giving forth their best effort. I see them not playing defense like they should. I see the complaining that goes on when the whistle blows, unfortunately that happens a lot regardless. Right now, Cleveland knows there really isn’t much of a chance to have the best record in the NBA and they’ve lost their focus and have become bored. Especially against Eastern conference teams. I have no doubt that they’ll be able to get their focus back in due time. I watched the Clippers, Warriors game Saturday night and what was the first thought that popped into my head? Golden State and Cleveland are in the same situations that they were in last year. The Warriors couldn’t be touched for most of the regular season. After all, they did win 73 games. What was Cleveland doing this time last year? Struggling to get wins.
Something else to think about. Last year, there was drama surrounding the Cavs. This year? Yep, you guessed it, drama. This time it isn’t the coach. Now it James questioning the front office and pretty much demanding roster tweaks. I said in my Broulis Beat Report podcast, that I didn’t feel it was the right avenue to go down for LeBron to go through the media to talk about this situation.
Next up. Stop complaining to the ref’s. I understand you aren’t getting some calls your way. But, that’s going to happen throughout the course of a long NBA season. Then, while you’re complaining, you’re putting your team in a bad spot defensively while the other team is running down the floor with a 5 on 4 or 5 on 3 numbers advantage.
What I do agree with James about is the fact that this team desperately needs a backup point guard and let me take it a step further. Cleveland really needs a legit center. I personally hope that Phoenix center Tyson Chandler is bought out by the Suns. Cleveland would then have a chance to sign Chandler. He would be a good fit for the Cavaliers. Tyson is a tall but athletic guy who can play defense, rebound and would give anyone driving to the rim someone who they can lob the ball up to and dunk it.
So, who can backup Irving? Well, here are a few players to keep an eye on. Mario Chalmers, Jordan Farmar, Shelvin Mack and Jameer Nelson. I personally like Jameer Nelson, Jordan Farmar and Shelvin Mack. But, I wouldn’t mind Mario Chalmers. Either way, they don’t need an All-Star for a backup. Just someone who can buy Kyrie Irving some time off the court.
If you watched my latest Broulis Beat Report, I mentioned that Golden State would beat Cleveland in a best of 7 series. I still stand behind that. It’s very simple too. The Warriors have more guys that can create their own shot. From Curry, Durant, Thompson, Green and some of their bench players. Cleveland has Irving and James. Shumpert can get his own shot, but he’s not as consistent. I almost forgot J.R. Smith. The Cavs really do miss him.
How about Kyle Korver? It’s going to take time for Cleveland to adjust their offense to Korver. He’s strictly a catch and shoot player. I love his game. Korver adds a dimension to this Cavs offense that they haven’t had in a long time.
Once we get closer to March, this team will have it together and the focus will be back. It’ll definitely help once Cleveland fills out their roster and figures out who plays best with who. And until Toronto gets a legit third scorer, I’m not too concerned about the Raptors. I’m more concerned about Boston, Washington, Milwaukee and yes, even the Pacers.
A good friend of mine made a great point while attending church Saturday night. If PG Kay Felder isn’t going to be used, why have him? Maybe the front office is trying to be patient with him, in hopes that he’ll become the point guard they’d hoped for. But, they must keep in mind, it’ll take every player they have to repeat as NBA champions. When Golden State added Durant, that put them back in the driver seat as favorites to win the 2017 NBA title.
All I can say to Cavs fans right now is this. Be patient and let the season unfold.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis