This past weekend as the snow storm hit New York, a different kind of storm hit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Head coach David Blatt was fired after plotting the Cavs’ course to the NBA Finals last season, as well as a 30-11 record this season, good for first in the Eastern Conference and third overall. Though ‘His Majesty,’ none other than Lebron James, claims to have known nothing about the coaching change, it seems unlikely that the Cavaliers management did not run the decision by James before they let Blatt go. The truth is that there is only one priority in Cleveland, and that is Lebron Raymone James. It’s certainly not a coincidence that the team’s new head coach is Tyronn Lue, of Allen Iverson-stepping-over fame and a coaching figure that Lebron James is particularly fond of. It’s no coincidence that during an interview with David Blatt at practice, he was holding a list of plays, half of which were specifically dedicated to Lebron. Despite efforts to incorporate Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love into the Cavs offense, the problem for them is that the main option on offense will be Lebron.
The system will constantly revolve around James in isolation trying to work his defender. That doesn’t work well for Kyrie Irving and it most certainly doesn’t work for Kevin Love. Without the freedom to work in the post or on the elbow, something that Coach Lue has admittedly ensured to focus on in his tenure, Love simply doesn’t get the shots he needs to contribute to the offense, and with him constantly on the perimeter, he is in a more disadvantageous position to grab offensive rebounds. Because of Irving and Love’s defensive deficiencies, it’s imperative for them to play a significant role in Cleveland’s offensive production in order to justify giving them a star’s amount of minutes.
The comparisons between the Cavs and the Heat of the past are always going to be there, but should they? Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh reinvented themselves to a certain extent, making way for Lebron to get the possessions he needed and still make an impact on the game in the isolation-based offense. Presently the Cavs, Irving and Love aren’t the same on offense, and not nearly as good on defense. Granted, times are different with the premium of ball movement in today’s NBA and the almighty Warriors and Spurs reducing every other team’s scheme to ashes. However, Lebron’s presence causes everyone to automatically assume that Cleveland is a championship contender of the same caliber,.Whether they’re right or not, the Cavs have high expectations to fulfill and they’re currently underperforming.
Once again, Lebron’s blessing and curse is that all the responsibility falls on his ridiculously broad shoulders. Though he is enjoying a super individual season, the only thing Lebron is working towards is bringing a championship to Cleveland. The Cavs have changed coaches in yet another decision catered toward Lebron; it is now up to him to carry the Cavs to the promised land.
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