Just trying to get through life without lookin stupid
Cavs-Wizards for a third straight year. Not good.The Wizards are going to be highly motivated to win this series, and the Cavs ... well, with any luck, they'll put their uniforms on right side out.Normally, even a motivated Wizards team wouldn't scare me that much, but the Cavs are really ripe for a fall here, what with their bad backs, lack of defense and general not firing on all cylinders since the trade. You can almost sense what is coming. Count me among those who will be disappointed but not surprised if the Wizards roll the Cavs in five or six this year. They're tired of being pushed around.
I've said this before, but if there ever is a time for the Cavs (with LeBron) to take a step back and regroup, it was this year (LeBron's first year in his new contract). They weren't going to win with the old group and they made a change that gives them more expiring contracts to play with this summer.I think, when healthy, the new team is better than the old team. But they aren't healthy. The pre-trade team had a lower ceiling, but they were much more stable. The post-trade team has a higher celing, but they're more inconsistent.I still feel somewhat confident against the Wiz, but I wouldn't be shocked in the least if the Cavs get knocked out in round one.
All signs point to the Wizards beating the Cavs in a 7 game series. But if LeBron is on top of his game, its tough to pick against him. Also, playoffs are so different than the regular season. It's one thing for a team to beat another team 1 or 2 times a year, but to win 4 out of 7 is a completely different ballgame. That being said, I like the Cavs in 7, and then to get throttled in the 2nd round by the Celtics.
Isn't it kind of interesting that the team appears to be jelling, just apart from LeBron? Windhorst wrote about it at length today.When LeBron is out, the Cavs are outscoring their opponents and playing five-man basketball... sort of. When LeBron is in, everything screeches to a halt and it becomes stand around and watch The King.The Cavs are actually worse when LeBron is in the game right now, which I can't even get my head around. It's not even marginal, it's very noticeable.It's a good news, bad news scenario: The good news is that there is proof that the team surrounding LeBron is more talented since the trade. They can stand on their own two collective feet without LeBron on the floor. The bad news is that a whole new set of players needs to be cured of the tendency to use LeBron as a crutch, which seems to be an overwhelming urge for any player who puts on the wine and gold.
I hate Joe Borowski
What I've been seeing is that some of their best stretches come without LeBron AND without the new guys.The past two games we've seen a Gibson-Pavlovic-Brown-Varejao-Z lineup. They run the offense through Z and they play off of him.And it works. Brown and Pavlovic cut to the whole (and Z hits 'em). Andy and Z hustle for rebounds and Gibson keeps everyone honest by spotting up for treys. Then when LeBron comes in, all the movement stops. Everyone watches LeBron and it seems like they are one shot and done. I'm not sure how to fix this, especially at this point of the year.
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