By KeepItCavalier // @KeepItCavalier
The Cavaliers have been the darlings of the draft the past four years.
Machine Gun Kelly has dapped up Dan Gilbert; Nick Gilbert rocked bow-ties; they won 3 of 4 lotteries; and they have made three of the more shocking picks of the past 4 years (Tristan Thompson at 4; Dion Waiters at 4; and Anthony Bennett 1st overall).
Kyrie, was even a much maligned decision after playing only 11 collegiate games. They also traded Andrew Wiggins– the first time the no. 1 pick has been traded since the Magic dealt Chris Webber in 1993.
The NBA draft is this awesome, dramatic spectacle that enthralls everyone– including NBA executives– and makes us go apeshit for a group of 60 guys of whom 75% will likely never do anything memorable. It’s awesome.
Somehow, some way, Kyrie got hurt and the Cavs beat the best team in the league two times in a row. Even weirder, only one seemed even slightly fluky (game 2, Steph Curry’s shooting).
It’s really crazy just how close the Cavs were to winning that game. I mean, yeah, of course you know this. But like, really. Before the most crushing overtime period ever, the Cavs had the ball in the hands of the best player on the planet with 24 seconds left in a tied game. This fact seems to have been lost in the vortex of hot takes… Twitter is a fucking awful place.
I took some notes on the game.
There are clear dichotomies present in this NBA Finals, like every year more or less, that make this interesting: Star at the end of his prime, former MVP vs. rising star current MVP; experience vs. inexperience; individual excellence vs. incomprehensible team chemistry/overall talent; inside-outside approach vs. outside-inside approach; A team of polarizing (at times) players vs. a team of basketball angels. You could go on for hours…
The Warriors, however, have a historically great team that ripped of 67 games compared to the Cavs’ 53, and truly annihilated teams in the process. They have transcendent star Stephen (Chef) Curry, with his younger star/daughter Riley Curry.
It’s too perfect. They’re too perfect; their game of fastbreaking, Curry cooking helpless unknowing sacrifices, ball movement, threes, and staunch defense leading to offense is too palatable. It’s the one team every basketball nerd appreciates as much as every casual fan.
The Warriors have a slew of long, strong defenders who can guard 3s and 4s, two players who finished in the top-3 for defensive player of the year (neither of whom are their best perimeter defender), and incredible coaching. The Cavs don’t have anyone to hide Kyrie Irving on against most Golden State lineups, and I’m not sure how much better Irving on one leg will be chasing around Curry than Pablo Prigioni. The Warriors are an all-around better team, with less holes to cover.
But that’s when you should remember the greatest quote, maybe ever: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” – Mike Tyson.
By KeepItCavalier / @KeepItCavalier
A few weeks ago, at the trade deadline, the Cavaliers traded two second-rou
nd picks for Spencer Hawes.
I criticized the trade, and gave it a C+ given the context of not trading Varejao, Luol Deng, potentially stunting the growth of young front court players, and not tanking.
It wasn’t audacious to expect Hawes to help the chemistry, and fundamental geometrical problems with the team; there was just no way to expect him to be this good. He stat-padded his way to 13 and 9 on a team playing faster than any team since the 2007-08 Golden State Warriors! If you thought he would average 15.9-8.7-2.2-1 on 47.2/42.4/79.4 shooting, you, sir (or ma’am), are more delusional than Dan Gilbert.
I am disappointed, once again. I went in with big hopes, and that ultimately lead to my demise.
Chris Grant spoiled me. In 2011, he picked up a lottery-pick for Mo Williams; in 2012, he picked up a first-round pick and the rights to swap first rounders the following season with the Lakers; in 2013, although it didn’t come at the deadline, he picked up what’s likely going to be a lottery pick from the Grizzlies in the near future.
When the Cavs didn’t pick up a first-round pick– or any pick for that matter– I felt cheated.
My mood skewed my view of the trade that did happen.
After firing the polarizing, controversial former Cavaliers general manager– Chris Grant– Cleveland has taken off under his successor David Griffin! They are 6-0! Six straight! Their jerseys are starting to look less like vomit and more like wine!
This is the team’s first four-plus-game winning streak since LeBron!
After watching this season-long tragedy of a team that was on the verge of entering its final act, it inexplicably turned around. It has left us sitting here, marveling at our computer screens– too jubilant to be confused– like Walt Jr. when he believed he had donations pouring in from around the world on his website. It’s too good to be true, and it’s time to peer into what’s sustainable.