These Cavs are done.
I hope that their entire brand of basketball is done, too.
Their games are just too hard to watch. The only moments that are half-way watchable are the ones in which LeBron does something incredible. It’s like watching footage from the last rec league I played in. We didn’t have a coach.
I’m not even commenting on Ty Lue as a coach- we need to see him coach a couple hundred games with no LeBron on the roster1 They ‘run plays’ and he ‘makes adjustments’, but in today’s NBA, that’s not enough.2 You need a system.
The Spurs have a system. The Warriors have a system. The Rockets have a system. Boston has a system. Atlanta had a system.
LeBron doesn’t need a system to put up numbers and win some games. Everyone whose name is not LeBron James, though, needs a fucking system. They need a consistent offense that generates looks based on basic basketball fundamentals like player and ball movement, cutting and screening, etc, rather than depending on #23 to generate all the space and open looks.
Five years ago, Boris Diaw very nearly won a Finals MVP with the Spurs. The year before that, had the Spurs pulled it out, Danny Green would have likely won the award. Danny Green isn’t worlds better than J.R. Smith, and Boris Diaw isn’t particularly better than George Hill. Year 19 Tim Duncan isn’t better than Kevin Love.
None of those things will happen on this Cavs team. Non-LBJ Cavs players do not have roles that facilitate their abilities. The Cavs don’t even have rotations for the NBA FINALS.
Final Finals Notes:
1) Watching Game 4, I’m pretty disappointed in LeBron’s will to win. He’s an all-time great, and he had / has a small chance to overtake Jordan, but nights like tonight are a big hit to that possibility. There is no shame in losing to this Warriors team. If I were in his shoes, even if it were an inevitability (and it was), I would have gone down guns blazing. Sure, you’re a passer first… But if your dudes aren’t hitting their shots, it’s on you to go out there and take over. They’d have to wheel me off the court. I’d damn sure have lost, but effort would never be a question regarding my effort.
2) Every NBA team is stocked with professionals, but this Cavs team makes a mockery of the professionalism, organizational consistency, and vision demonstrated by actual first-class organizations. Alas, we’ve known that would be lacking on this Cavs team long before Comic Sans ever became a hashtag.
3) It took a series of injuries to Steph Curry, the random explosion of the salary cap, and KD making the weakest move ever to create this Warriors team, and short of injuries or terrorism, it’s going to take something crazy to unseat them.
4) Think about this: Take KD and LeBron off their respective teams. The Cavs would miss the playoffs, and the Warriors would have the vast majority of a 73-win squad.3