I’m really concerned about the Cleveland Cavaliers. This isn’t a reaction to the loss against the Bulls or any other singular game for that matter. My problem right now is that I just don’t see it, and I think at this point in their franchise rebuild I’m supposed to be able to without this much trouble. Even squinting as hard as I can at the roster and how many of the pieces fit prototypical roles with some of their height and weight measurables, I can’t squint hard enough to see a team with playoff-level ability. When I see this team play actual games it’s even more difficult.
This isn’t pointed at Mike Brown. He’s only been here a minute and he’s one of the most qualified head coaches in the entire NBA. We all know he has his limitations, but the way this Cavs team is playing couldn’t have much to do with his coaching, and that’s why I’m so scared. I’m afraid this team simply doesn’t have the level of talent and ability required to compete at a high level in the NBA. My fears are that it’s not the result of lackluster coaching or a team that just needs time. My fear is that this rebuild has failed.
I know some of you are with me. This isn’t a hate-filled, rage orgy aimed at the mortgage monster and his tall, nerdy asset collector. I think regardless of what you think about the entire package that is Dan Gilbert, he is a prototypically good sports team owner with deep pockets. I also think Chris Grant’s strategies have largely been sound in terms of trading for value. It’s the result of the execution that has me scratching my head. This season is supposed to be a culmination of taking Kyrie Irving and the two subsequent drafts. It’s Kyrie and this iteration of the Cavs’ third season.
I don’t remember specifically, but I don’t think this looks like the LeBron Cavaliers that won 50 games in his third season. The Durant Thunder that also won 50 games in their third season started 3-4, but right now I’m having a hard time believing this Cavaliers team is as far along as that team was with Durant.
Maybe I’m making that up though. Maybe you never see it until it’s already here. Maybe it really does just take more time for players to mature individually and as a team with chemistry to compete at a high level. Maybe maybe maybe.
Again, this isn’t a hate-fueled post of negativity. This is a fearful post that patience might not be the missing ingredient. This is the concern that three wasted years of being a Cavs fan was squandered so that they could build a team incapable of doing better than Alonzo Gee as starting three. Sorry to pick on one guy because I like Alonzo Gee, but if that’s the culmination of three years of work rebuilding the franchise, I don’t know what to say. It’s the concern that this team also failed to land any kind of real star with their high picks after Kyrie Irving. I admit it might be irrational. I admit that it might be impatient.
I just can’t believe that right now watching this team and that I’m alone in these fears. I have confidence that Mike Brown can get as much or more out of this team than almost any other coach in the NBA. I’m scared what sum total “more” will add up to by the end of the season and moving forward.