Friday, August 13, 2010

Cleveland Cavaliers Offseason Review

Unlike the Cleveland Show their wont be much to smile about for Cav's fans. From here

With the Lebron leaving his hometown roots in Ohio the city of Cleveland reverts to the former ghost town of basketball. I may be under estimating Lebron Jame's former supporting cast, but I currently see them as the second worst team in the east. The basis of this slighting is that the success of many Cleveland players was a byproduct of Lebron Jame's greatness. Indeed this seems reasonable, and for once I decided to do some research to explore the validity of my renegade notions.

My research began with a simple query into google's impressive database. The search was on "Cleveland's record without Lebron James" and yielded some results, I decided to check out an article called 'Cavs Prove They Can Win Without LeBron James' (by Pat McManamon - check it out here) if you want) The title frightened me a bit, could I be wrong already? The title was accurate, the Cavaliers had defeated the relatively powerful San Antonio Spurs without the King. Reading a bit further however I found some other interesting tid-bits, specifically

"The Cavs' record in their last 10 without LeBron? One-and-nine. This win was their first without him in three years and it came over a team that is the seventh-best in the West." - Pat McManamon

Again, congratulations to Cleveland for defeating San Antonio, but the main thing to see is the performance of the Cavs without Lebron. They had a win rate of 10 percent without the King.

Now I don't expect Cleveland to have 10 percent win rate in 2010/2011 but I am expecting them to win less then half of what they did in 2009/2010. Not only have they lost one of the greatest of all times, but there are many other factors that point to an even poorer season then commonly predicted for the Cavs.

First is moral. When your owner writes hate mail like a 13 year old teenage girl to the cities formal idol, you got some issues (although I thought his metaphor on going to heaven without dying was a nice touch) I can't help but think Lebron's departure is going to have a negative impact on the moral of everyone involved in the organization. The lack of positive energy will not create an environment conducive of winning.

If you read the above article you will notice Delonte West was one of the key contributors in their heroic victory over the Spurs. Well, he is gone too. I have been a fan of Delonte West the player and person for awhile now. His antics have been somewhat troublesome but I cannot help but love the guy for all the shenanigans he pulls off. On the court he is pretty underrated by many. A good shooter, with a variety of skills offensively (nice handle and impressive low post game) and an excellent perimeter defender. So losing this guy hurts.

Third their swing man rotation. I feel truly sorry for the folks of Cleveland. Going from Lebron James to a swing rotation of Anthony Parker, Joey Graham, and Jamario Moon is going to be painful to say the least. This trio 'graced' Toronto fans with the worst production from the 2, 3 spot in the NBA from 2007-2009. With Parker declining with age, Graham and Moon not improving at all, expect much the same.

With the absence of production from the wings, it will fall on Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, and JJ. Hickson to carry the team offensively.

Antawn Jamison is bound to improve a bit statistically from his atrocious performance as a Cav last year. That said, he is still trending downwards as a player. I expect this decline to accelerate in the coming years.

Ramon Sessions is a decent backup who I don't know much about other then losing follows him wherever he goes. JJ Hickson has some upside and is very athletic however his skill level does not seem very high. Varejao is an amazing role player and will still provide energy, however his effectiveness wont be as high now that he is playing for a terrible team (more attention, less easy buckets from LBJ)

Mo Williams will have to make random and unexpected player growth for the Cavs to be considered average. From here

Finally Mo Williams. The burden is going to fall on this guy to lead the Cavs out of the bottom tier. For them to win over 30 games he is going to have to have a good year. Increases in most categories, most importantly points, assists, and field goal percentage. I am doubtful that this will happen (sorry for the lack of good reasoning, I just don't really like his game and don't see him improving)

In conclusion, poor Cleveland. The end.

Offseason Grade - F (Unlike Toronto they had a chance to retain their superstar and
failed to do so. Trading West for Sessions does not improve the
team but rids them of a head ache. Really they did nothing
else but sign Joey Graham which is not much)
2010/2011 Regular Season Record - 26-56 (Fourteenth in East)


  1. Have you considered the mental aspect with Lebron leaving? That's never really talked about since these are "athletes" and that means they are beyond the simple mind games that would plague most people. I'm sure if they season starts off well, they might manage (but don't expect anything great), but if they start out on a losing note, I wouldn't be surprised to see heads quickly drop and that franchise tank for a few years to come.

    Nonetheless, they need to quit the hate on Lebron; completely uncalled for when a large group of people attack a man for trying to better himself.

  2. Hello there - I agree completely on the understated mental aspect, especially in the case of Cleveland. In particular they are battling the stigma that their success was based highly on the presence of Lebron.

    Thank you for your input :)


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