I skipped watching the game vs. the Heat last night but I checked ESPN and saw that we did it! The Cavs SOMEHOW managed to pull out a loss vs. a team missing 40 million dollars of annual salary. WHEW! That was close! We almost won! Satisfied I changed the channel and paid it no more attention.
This loss was important you see, the Cavs are tied for the third most Ping-Pong balls entered into the lottery.A win greatly jeopardizes our chances of drafting Otto Porter or Nerlens Noel. I really want Nerlens Noel
This morning I wake up and read the following from Ohio.com:
But Irving’s peculiar behavior after the Cavaliers game quickly became just as interesting as another loss in a season filled with them. While the rest of the players lined up to hand selected fans their jerseys and shoes as part of Fan Appreciation Night, Irving immediately sprinted off the court at the buzzer and into the locker room. Irving’s quick exit left a staff member to scramble back to the locker room and gather a jersey and pair of Irving’s shoes to be handed out by someone else.
Kyrie was asked if he was injured in the locker room to which he replied:
That’s what I have? Oh, when was someone going to tell me that?" Irving said. "I’m hurt again? Damn. How long am I going to be out, 4 to 6 weeks?" Asked when he was injured, Irving said he was fine. "They said I have a bruised heel, but I’m fine," he said. "I felt it in the first half. Felt something in my heel, but I’m OK.
This is essentially the equivalent of Kyrie throwing the gauntlet down with management. The time for tanking is over, Kyrie has had all he can stands, and he can’t stands no more. These statements confirm what we have long suspected; the Cavs have been losing games on purpose all season in order to maintain draft position.
While in the long-term this is a solid strategy, the Cavs really do need a long-term solution at SF and C. This draft happens to have both a quality SF, and a quality C available in the top 4 picks. It’s only logical to try and acquire one of those picks.
The tanking has been evident across multiple platforms.Management literally gave Coach Scott a bench of D-leaguers and Luke Walton to start the year. It was beyond horrible; spending as little as 8 million dollars in 2-year contracts in the off-season would have substantially upgraded the team. I don’t know if being so far below the cap was some deal management worked out with the players "Deal with this for another season and you’ll all make some extra $ as the cap money is distributed evenly."(Pure and complete speculation I have no evidence or any meaningful information to back this up, please don’t sue me Dan Gilbert) But this was the state of the Cavs entering the season.
The tanking was evident from the coaching, Coach Scott’s refusal to use timeouts, the awful rotations, the hockey subs, I could go on and on and on.
I reiterate it makes sense to tank; the Cavs have a young team. Giving our young players lots of minutes and letting them grow on their own while maintaining our draft stock is a good idea, it allows us to progress while building for the future.
Then the trade happened. The Cavs moved garbage PF for three players and a first round draft pick and something interesting happened. We started to win. The Cavs finished the month of February over .500. All of a sudden Kyrie gets hurt, and stays hurt for a very long time with a shoulder injury that should have only kept him out for a few days, Dion Waiters for some reason opts to have his knee scoped mid-season. This is what I believe sparked his comments last night. Dwight Howard has played almost every game this season with a torn Labrum.
So, Kyrie just told us that our window just officially opened. The patient plan now goes out the window. For all the talk of the Cavs not catering to Kyrie Irving like we catered to LeBron James, I feel we have swung too far to the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s time for the Cavs to start catering to Kyrie, and give him some pieces around him. This can’t happen again, the time to start winning is now. It is obvious that our superstar will no longer stand for losing on purpose
The Cavs desperately need quality veterans to help guide and develop their young talent. I am planning a fan post to discuss the Cavs options for the future, but do not want to release it until after we know our lottery position. Obviously Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson look far less attractive if we can draft Nerlens. No matter who it is, it's time to use that cap space and some of Dan Gilbert's billions. We need 3-4 free agents who are not making the league minimum.