I've been a CAVS fan all my life. I'm 41 born and raised in Cleveland. I'm still recovering from the total collapse of our beloved CAVS. I was worried about playing the Celtics. Boston knows what it takes to win the ring and they were finally healthy. However, I still thought we were the better team. I was wrong. The better TEAM one the series. I emphasize team because Boston played together, unlike our CAVS. I know everyone is trying to figure out what happened. The rumors are funny.
I did not play organized basketball. Most of my playing experience has been on the playground and recreation. This is my opinion of what happened. Any comments good or bad are appreciated. We are finding out that Lebron's elbow was a problem the last three weeks of the season. I understand why the gave him the rest for the last few games. With Lebron and Shaq being out the team didn't gel. I believe with the addition of Jamison it was a tough thing to think the offense and defense would be fluid. Once the team was back and healthy for the playoffs it was a feeling out process again. Just like the beginning of the year the coaching staff didn't know how to incorporate Shaq into the offense. ( I will get to my thoughts regarding the offense). This uncertainty was one of the problems that brought this team crashing down. I would say the other problems/issues are as follows: Defense (lack of), Offense, Supporting Cast. I will address these issues now.
Defense: It appeared to me that we just didn't have the personel to play championship Defense. It all starts with our guards. Mo Williams is a poor defender. He always has been. Once you break the defense down and get into the paint it puts us at a disadvantage. Sometimes you can cover that up with good help defense and recovery. However, our bigs that were in the rotation were either too slow or out of position. I don't think Mo Williams is the PG we were looking for. Mo is more of combo guard that can be a volume scorer like Jason Terry. Not a starting PG. I wanted to see Sebastian Telfair in the Boston series. He's more of a true PG. I would give him a second look. Anthony Parker showed his age. He did a decent job on Ray Allen, not quick enough to handle the quick PG's in the league. We also did not have enough point production from our SG. This is an area that needs to be upgraded. Shaq never really had it going. I think he was starting to gear it up just before he was injured. That set him back. Once he returned he could never find a groove. Jamison it's hard to say. I believe he's an above average scorer, however he's not a strong defender. Since we acquired him in the middle of the season it was hard to incorporate him along with Shaq. Our bigs were too slow and too old. Lebron played like Lebron most of the time. I do believe that his elbow injury messed with his head. I do believe he was trying to play through it, however it affected his attitude. Lebron did not know how to play with an injury that limited some of his offense and defense.
Offense: This was an issue until last year. When John Keuster took over the offense last year the CAVS played tremendous. I believe the only reason they lost to Orlando was because of the match ups. We did not have the Athletic Bigs to handle the Magic's athletic bigs. Before last year the offense was predictable and easy to stop. When John Keuster was hired as the Piston's Coach I felt the CAVS should have hired someone to handle the offense. Especially with Shaq joining the team. The CAVS never really had a force in the middle like Shaq before. Mike Brown never did figure out how to run an efficient offense. Then when Jamison was acquired we didn't take advantage of his skills. The offense always ran through Lebron. No wonder the supporting cast never developed any confidence that would be needed during the playoffs. I've read many articles stating that if we obtained Amare instead of Jamison things would have been different. I don't believe that is the case. We still would have lost to Boston. You look at the teams that are still playing the playoffs they all have an offensive philosophy and they know how to take advantage of the skills each person possesses. I truely believe if the CAVS had an offensive guru the outcome of the Boston series would have been different.
Supporting Cast: I believe this year was the best supporting cast Lebron had since he was drafted. Because of the lack of offensive philosophy this team did not reach it's full potential. What happened to the rotation with JJ, Moon, Danny Green, Z. They played through out the year. I don't buy the idea that you have a shorter rotation once the playoffs begin. You play with what delivered you to this point. Sometimes you have to throw out the coaches manual and go with what you've done all year. I do believe Mike Brown didn't trust most of his bench players and they sensed that. Without that trust you are going to press and try to play perfect. I do believe the CAVS need to upgrade SG, Center and PG if you're not going to give Telfair a shot. Also, we need to play our young guys to develop them. If they aren't exposed to the fire of the playoffs then don't expect them to perform if they go in.
Sorry for the long post. I do believe Lebron is going to re-sign with the CAVS. I hope it's longer than three years. Because, I do believe he also has put the CAVS in this position. I believe his career and MJ's are very similar. Before Pippen, Grant, and the others MJ only made it so far in the playoffs as a one man show. Once he suggested a new coach and different philosophy the Bulls began to fill in the pieces and win rings. I believe Lebron should also go this route. Three year deals aren't going to work. We need to develop a team around him. Three year deals make you look for quick fixes. That's not how you win multiple rings. Lebron needs to decide if he wants to surpass MJ or just be a billionaire that played basketball.