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Broulis Beat Report: A Look At The NBA Midway and The Cavs

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CANTON,Ohio- I know it’s not just me but more and it seems to be more and more people are getting really tired of watching an NBA that is not that competitive from December thru March. As a matter of fact I’ve recommended shorting the NBA season from 82 to 72 games. Unfortunately that will never happen because that would take away money from the NBA.

Yes, sports has been to the point of money having the final say for a long time time and that’s never going to change in my opinion.

So right now Golden St is playing on their own level and they’re making it look easy. Do I think their going to break the Bulls record of 72 wins? Yes, unless they decide to rest some players and I don’t mean bench players. Maybe 2 major injuries would also derail that as well.

I do wonder if their going to hit a rough patch though. They are the luckiest team in the league and when I say that I mean from a health standpoint. I’m very curious if they can continue on this rampage the rest of the year.

This isn’t so much an opinion on the midway point kind of opinion but a few things that have really hurt the NBA over the last 10 years or so is 1. All the good players are friends and they do what they can to play on the same team as one another ( The term “BIG 3” mean anything?). Think about all the teams right now that are legitimate  NBA finals contenders. You have the Warriors, Spurs, Cavs and then I have my bubble teams who are the Bulls, Clippers and the Thunder. All of the other teams are schedule fillers in my opinion.

My point is the NBA is at it’s best when at least 4 or 5 teams from each conference in my opinion are legit title contenders. Would you be interested in watching the Cavs vs Utah Jazz on a Sunday afternoon in April when its close to 70 out and the Jazz stink? Or the Warriors or Spurs vs the Lakers vs Minnesota right now? This lack of a playing field is killing the NBA and the proof is in the ratings. On TNT the NBA’s ratings have fell 8.2% and the ESPN 5.6%. 

Now don’t get me wrong. Is it fun to watch the good teams play like the Warriors, Cavs, Spurs, Thunder and Clippers? Yes but that’s 5 teams there. If your just a general basketball fan how likely are you to tune into teams that your not into? Unless it’s a good game i’m not watching the Pelicans vs the Heat unless it’s so miserable outside and I have nothing else to do. If I was getting paid to watch them then that’s obviously a different story.

My other thing is there are no rivalries or players or teams that really can’t stand one another. Just speaking from an Eastern conference Central division standpoint because I am a Cavs fan the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers are the 3 teams off the top of my head that are teams I enjoy wanting to beat just because they are so geographically close and both the Bulls and Pistons have some fans in this area that attend those games in Cleveland so it makes it more interesting.

But there are no more “Bad Boy” teams like the Pistons used to have. I’m not suggesting we need more fighting in the NBA but I just wish there were more competitive teams in the Association so that come playoff time it wouldn’t be such an assumption that if your not in the top 4 seeds that you won’t make it to the 3rd round.

OK, enough of that. Now to the Cavs midway season stuff. Let’s start out with what I don’t like about the Cavs. It drives me nuts watching this isolation ball happen so often. And I cringe when at the end of every quarter it’s either Kyrie or LeBron dribble and dribble and dribble at the top of the key and the defense has time to set then Cleveland is stuck with a low percentage shot. MOVE. THE. BALL!

I know he’s not the most skilled center in the NBA but why don’t we run a few plays for Mozgov? He played better last year when given that chance. Plus if he gets fouled he’s a good free throw shooter.

Speaking of free throw shooting. The Cavs are 26th in the league at free throw percentage. That has to improve!

I’d like to see way more pick and roll with Irving and James and while I’m speaking on plays how about making plays that have Irving or Williams driving to the rim while James is cutting to the rim and let him do some damage that way? Why not set a pick or 2 for James sprinting at half court and allow him to go from baseline to baseline with the ball? Just a suggestion on my part.

WHAT I LIKE- Believe it or not I’d like to start out with Richard Jefferson. I was glad Cleveland was able to pick him up. What a solid addition to the bench. He’s shooting 39% from three point range and he’s helped the Cavs reduce James minutes to 35 a game. In his first stint with Cleveland he was at 40 MPG and at 38 MPG in Miami.

Matthew Dellavedova has played well often offensively to force the Cavs to drop Mo Williams down to the Third string point guard. We all knew Delly is the best defending guard Cleveland has but he clearly worked on his entire offensive game during the Summer. Don’t think though that Williams will get moved because unless it’s another guy they trade for. the Cavs know that Irving is an injury waiting to happen so having 3 guards that can run the point is crucial.

I’m glad to see Varejao getting more minutes. He has had a decent 15 foot jump shot from the foul line and his hustle and rebounding are priceless along with his defense. BUT, he may be used in a trade. I’ll explain that later in this article.

Finally Cleveland is ranked 11th in field goal percentage allowing opponents to shoot 33% from the field which is good but I’d  like them to be under the 10th spot.

Now speaking of trade rumors. The NBA trade deadline is this Thursday at 3PM. The Cavs are reportedly interested in multiple players.

Ben  McLemore of the Sacramento Kings. I wanted the Cavs to draft him. Hes inexpensive and would add depth, youth and offense to our team.

Kyle Korver may be seen as the best player appearing in these Cavaliers trade rumors, as he has been a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team with his superior shooting. There isn’t a lot of incentive for the Atlanta Hawks to trade him, though, unless the front office is completely overhauling the team.Hes shooting 43 percent shooter from three-point range. That could make him extremely valuable in Cleveland.

Trevor Ariza. Good wing defender and is under $10 million for the nest 3 seasons.

Omer Asik. He can give the Cavs rebounding and good defense and would be under contract for the next 3 season between $9-$12 million a year. This would make sense as well because Mozgov will be gone after this year.

Finally Joe Johnson of the Nets. My only problem with that is he is more of an isolation player and doesn’t like passing the ball and he’s not the type of player you want on your team if you want to push the tempo. The one positive is Cleveland could get him at the league minimum if Brooklyn buys him out which is expected.

So there you have it. Enjoy your All-Star break basketball fans.


Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis

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