Friday, May 14, 2010

Three Quick Thoughts on the Cavs' Demise

1. Josef Stalin was a murderous bastard, even by a dictator's standards, but he could be counted on for the occasional pithy quote. At some point shortly after the commencement of Operation Barbarossa, when the Wehrmacht was rolling over the Soviet Union like a knife through butter, he looked at the members of his inner circle and said "Lenin left us a good thing and we've f***ed it up." I have to imagine that Danny Ferry and Mike Brown were saying something along those lines to one another on the plane back to Cleveland last night. The Cavs were bestowed with the good fortune of winning the lottery when the clear #1 choice was a player (and a local, to boot) who has turned out to be one of the best players of all time, at least at his age. Seven years later, the best that Ferry can do for him is to give him a clueless coach and a rotation that includes a bunch of spare parts. I complain about the Yankees winning titles without having to show management skill because they can simply buy the best free agents; the Cavs winning a title with this collection would have been similar, as it would have been the result of nothing more than good fortune with lottery balls.

2. Question for Adrian Wojnarowski and every other two-bit columnist who is complaining that LeBron isn't like Magic, Larry, or Michael: who on LeBron's roster is his DJ, Parish, McHale, Kareem, Worthy, or Pippen. If I squint very hard, I can see Varejao being a poor man's Rodman or Grant. If we were picking teams based on the players available last night, LeBron is the first pick and then the next five picks are all Celtics. LeBron is going to be blamed unfairly for the failings of everyone around him. If he decamps for Chicago or New York, the Cavs' management and the supporting cast they assembled will be the reason why. (This may be wishful thinking on my part, but after being let down by weak teammates for two straight years, isn't LeBron less likely to go to play for the Knicks, who have nothing? Even if Lebron goes with Joe Johnson or Bosh, you're still looking at a two-man team that is capped out.

2a. I'll admit that LeBron was crap in Game Five and strangely uneven last night. However, if we're apportioning blame for the fact that the Cavs didn't win a title in LeBron's year seven, I'm not starting with the guy who had a triple double last night.

2b. LeBron is also being blamed unfairly because the Cavs were "upset" by the Celtics, but the series was only an upset because the Celtics mailed in the second half of the season, whereas LeBron played hard and got his team the #1 seed. So hey, let's reward the scrappy Celtics for finally caring!

3. What's with the "Cleveland Sports Disasters" montages that ESPN has been running on a loop. If I'm sick of them and I have no feelings for Cleveland, then how to actual Clevelanders feel about having their noses rubbed in their futility? Yes, we don't need to be reminded that the Browns lost AFC Championship Games to the Broncos in dramatic fashion. It's one thing for ESPN to push sports memes relentlessly; it's another to be the Marquis de Sade in doing so.


Jesse said...

In more important news, Woodson gets shown the door. Where's your list of top five coaching candidates?

Griffin said...

My beef w/ LeBron is not that he hasn't won a title. That's tough. It's that he's not a leader, at any point, of his team. Best player? Sure. But when they were getting their asses kicked, he always see to disappear. If it weren't for Mo Williams last night, the Cavs would have been out of it in the 1st half. Same for a few of the previous games. Every time he tries to 'fire the guys up' or anything like that, it just feels forced, doesn't it?

Plus, his team openly quit, QUIT, last night in the last 2 mins. I mean, come on....

Look at the way Rondo absolutely ran the Celtic players. They deferred to him, listened to him and he was the leader on the court. At any point can you look at LeBron and say the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't anybody just giving Boston credit? Maybe their great team defense is the tonic for one-horse teams?

LeBron had a terrible series against Boston in 2008 too:

Game 1: 12 points, 9 assists, 2 of 18 shooting, 10 turnovers.

Game 2: 21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 6 of 24 shooting, 7 turnovers.

Game 3: 21 points, 8 assists, 2 turnovers, 5 of 16 shooting (not bad, but way below his median performance)

Game 4: 21 points, 13 assists, 4 turnovers, 7 of 20 shooting (again, nothing to sneeze at, but not vintage LeBron)

Games 5 and 7 were awfully good, but in game 6 (a Cavs win!) LeBron went 9 of 23 with 6 assists and 8 turnovers.

Anonymous said...

As bad as things have been, if LeBron leaves Cleveland could have the worst teams in MLB, NBA (would take some gumption but you don't get the next John Wall winning 39 games), and NFL. That would be quite a hat trick.