Last week I spoke about the Golden State Warriors looking weak in the regular season, despite their superstar talent, but made me eat my words by going on a 7 game win streak. Now it’s their rivals for the NBA Title, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost their heads and recently shown us that there might not be a team in the league that can put up a statistical battle against the Warriors. The Cavs have lost their last 5 of 7 games, one of those teams being the aforementioned Warriors, and not just to strong teams like the Warriors and the Spurs, but teams playing below .500 basketball, those being the Pelicans and the Kings last night. Not only that, but LeBron James, start of the Cavs, and the NBA in general, is blaming the GM and front office of the Cavaliers for the team’s recent stretch of losses, believing that their lack of signings is affecting the teams win percentage.
Starting with the Cavaliers recent losing streak, which is currently at 3 games; the reigning champions of the NBA have lost to significantly weaker teams than we’re used to seeing from LeBron’s squad, even losing to the Pelicans despite Anthony Davis being out on an injury basis, and swallowing a tough lose to the Sacramento Kings last night in another close game. Recently, it seems that the league’s best hope for beating Golden State’s ‘super team’ has shown that they may no longer be as tough as we thought they were, with a number of close game losses under the belt in their current stretch of a poor performance by the reigning champs. On their current losing streak, LeBron and the Cavs haven’t lost by more than 7 points, with games being decided by one or two clutch baskets sealing the deal for the opposing sides, showing signs that it’s possible that the Cavs are struggling to find a formula for wrapping up close games, despite having one of the most clutch players in the league in Kyrie Irving. Last night against the Kings, for example, the Cavs had a chance to tie the game in the final ten seconds of the game in overtime. But, instead of setting a pick for Kyrie to get an open 3, the squad went to LeBron, who took a contested 3, and while he did hustle to get the rebound, the ball was turned over by Kyle Korver, allowing Kings star DeMarcus Cousins to seal the game with a free throw, putting Sacramento up by 4. This has been the case for the Cavs a lot lately, with a similar scenario taking place in all 3 games; the opposing team being poorly defended on clutch shots, while the Cavs throw up hail-mary 3’s at the other end. The Cavs need to improve in close game situations if they hope to keep the chip in Cleveland come June; if not, we could see Stephen Curry lead Golden State to their second title in 3 years, and nobody wants that, as the Warriors are considered the ‘villains’ of the league after the acquisition of Kevin Durant in the off-season.
The recent poor performances of the NBA champions are not the fault of the squad though, according to team leader LeBron James, who’s putting the blame on the GM’s and front office staff. According to ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin, LBJ is placing the weight of the team’s recent stretch of losses on the lack of depth of the squad, and saying that the Cavs are a “top-heavy” team; by this he means that the team’s all offence and lacks other options to get baskets.
“We need a fucking playmaker. I’m not saying you can go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that.”
I love LBJ’s game, I mean the guy’s an absolute beast, but these list of complaints are making him out to be a real bitch when he’s faced with the challenge of keeping the title in Cleveland. We all know that the Cavs main concern is the talent on the Warriors’ roster, and it’s understandable that James is frustrated with the lack of depth and ability on the Cavs roster is lacking, while the Warriors have only gotten better during the off-season since they signed scoring machine Kevin Durant. But he’s going to have to realise that they might not get a “fucking playmaker” before the trade deadline which is less than a month away. And only recently the Cavaliers’ front office turned down a trade offer of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony, although that would’ve been a bad decision considering Melo’s need to have the ball in his hands in order to get points on the board, which wouldn’t work on a team with LeBron and Kyrie. What I’m saying is, though, the Cavaliers are lacking in, not only the cap space to acquire a star playmaker, but the requirements which need to met for most playmakers in the league; that being the ability to hold the ball more than would be the case on the Cavs squad. So, in fear of the 13x all-star coming after me for saying this; LBJ needs to stop complaining to the media and putting the blame on the front office, the GM, basically everyone but the team, and realise that the squad’s main problem is their inability to finish out close game scenarios, which we’ve seen quite frequently in this recent stretch of games. Time to “Defend the Land,” LBJ, as the Cavaliers host the Brooklyn Nets in Cleveland tomorrow night.
That wraps up my thoughts on the Cavaliers recent performances while they continue to rack up losses in the regular season. Let me know what you think below, and follow my blog for more posts on the NBA. Also, check out my Twitter to follow more of the shite I talk about. Enjoy your day.