Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Cleveland Cavaliers Won't Win Game Six

In a must-win situation, the Cavaliers staved off elimination in game five at Golden State, and people are almost letting themselves believe in the power of LeBron and Kyrie. Here's the thing though, they don't stand a chance in this series, and they won't even win in Cleveland tonight.

I've been meaning to talk about how horrifically overrated the Cavaliers were this postseason, and I really missed my ideal window when they were dominating crappy East teams, but luckily, they gave me one more shot to address it before this season is over. People are talking about how the Cavaliers may have figured out something in Draymond Green's absence, and with Kyrie and LeBron on the same page, they can handle everything the Warriors throw at them, but people are missing the point. Although LeBron and Kyrie were great, it may have been the worst performance the Cavaliers have had. They did absolutely nothing to create shots on offense. It was that same old iso-ball that is not a long-term solution to an offense, and the Cavaliers are going to find that out sooner rather than later.

Now before I get into the negatives, let's quickly talk about their one great positive: LeBron James. LeBron James is incredible. He's the most talented basketball player to ever play in the NBA. Anytime you mention LeBron's greatness, it must always be in comparison to Michael Jordan, but for actual play on the court, LeBron is more comparable to Scottie Pippen. But imagine if Pippen had the damn athleticism of Allen Iverson while being built like Karl Malone. Yeah, it takes three Hall of Famers to describe how gifted LeBron is, so even though Steph Curry is the MVP, LeBron is still the best basketball player on the planet. That alone makes the Cavaliers dangerous.

But in my mind, the Cavaliers are LeBron, and LeBron alone.

Now, this is the part of the program where I openly admit that I am a Kyrie Irving hater. I think he's one of the most overrated players in the NBA. He's still very skilled at certain aspects. He can score. Wait, did I say aspects? I guess I just meant aspect, because he doesn't do a whole lot else very well. He's not a great passer, and I think the whole world knows how porous his defense is at this point. And even though he had a hell of a game 5, he's likely not going to be that hot again in his next 20 games.

And now that we are done with the big two, let's look at the rest of the Cavaliers roster, which is basically the land of misfit toys. They are a bunch of square pegs being pushed into round holes, and that is not a recipe for success.

Matthew Dellavedova - Last year, he got hot at the right time and people bought into a player that isn't very good. His only skill that hasn't deteriorated is that he can foul, so congratulations on that.

Channing Frye - This is where things get interesting, because Channing Frye is a talented player. He can stretch the floor as a big but do poor work on defense. Considering how Kevin Love has played, Frye would probably do better in those minutes.

Richard Jefferson - Jefferson gets a lot of love for being a key cog for the Cavaliers, and that is a major issue, because he would be getting James McAdoo minutes if he were on the Warriors.

Kevin Love - Holy shit has this guy fallen off a cliff. I really hope he is injured, because his play has just dropped off a cliff. But let's not forget how valuable he was early on in the playoffs. Kevin Love is a great NBA player, but this is the worst fit he could possibly be in. If he is your number one or two option on offense, he can make up for his lack of ability on defense. It also helps that his defense goes from "Turn the children's heads away" to "poor" when he is able to contribute on offense. But like I said earlier, the Cavs would probably be better off with Frye, because Love has been downright awful in this series.

Timofey Mozgov - He's really big and can play interior defense. He has no actual basketball skills. Unfortunately, that makes him unplayable for the most part in today's NBA.

Iman Shumpert - Garbage on offense, only above average on defense. Good luck with that.

J.R. Smith - Usually bad, but sometimes he inexplicably catches fire and makes everything. I would say that a big game from Smith is their only hope in game six. Yes, Cleveland, your hopes are contingent on J.R. Smith. That does not sound promising.

Tristan Thompson - Note to self: Make friends with LeBron James.

And that's basically their team. They got one win when everything went right. They got another when Draymond Green was out and their two best players each probably had one of the ten best games of their careers (maybe Kyrie's best), and I just do not see that as a sustainable method for winning. I don't care that the Cavs are at home. This series is over. 

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