Man, the Cavs ought to be mad as hell.
I hope LeBron James is pissed off that despite all of his accomplishments, he’s still being questioned in every conceivable way.
I hope LeBron is pissed off that he’s turned into a below-average perimeter shooter, arguably the worst in the league actually. I also hope he knows he still doesn’t post up enough considering not a player in The Association can handle him on the block.
I hope LeBron is frustrated by the belief that he’s running all parts of this franchise, and that his leadership has consequently been called under examination.
I hope LeBron is also mad he’s shooting only .717 from the free throw line. One bad week and he’ll be in Rondo country.
But most importantly, I hope LeBron James is angered that most people think he’s in decline, and that many (not all) feel Stephen Curry is better than him. And that despite all the good LeBron did by returning to Northeast Ohio, many fans still can’t shake the cold truth that he gave his best years to another franchise.
Hopefully Kyrie Irving is mad as hell that some people believe he’s a selfish basketball player that would rather dribble the a hole into the hardwood at The Q than reverse the rock and play team basketball.
I hope Kyrie knows there’s a narrative that suggests he doesn’t make his teammates better. I hope he’s tired of the Stephon Marbury comparisons, which seem to be slowly gaining traction.
Kevin Love really needs to be pissed off he missed the All-Star Game for the second straight year…in the East. He should be salty that he’s one of six players averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds, but wasn’t deemed All-Star worthy, even though he’s playing on the top team in the conference. Four of the those other five players were All-Stars; the fifth player is a rookie. He should want to take it out on Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Pau Gasol and the rest of the NBA.
Kevin Love should be even angrier that despite not making an Eastern Conference All-Star team which had two injury replacements, NOBODY even considered him an “All-Star snub”.
Sidebar: Remember last year when the first place Atlanta Hawks had four All-Stars? Yeah.
And that the Cavs would even entertain the idea of dealing K Love before Thursday’s trade deadline should motivate him more than anything.
Timofey Mozgov—I hope he plays with fury because A) he keeps being jerked in and out of the starting lineup and B) his name has been attached to more trades than Luke Ridnour.
People think Mozgov is soft mentally, others think he’s soft mentally AND physically. I’d be ticked off at either notion if I were him.
I want Tristan to get mad because every time he has a bad game, Cavs fans immediately point to the massive contract he signed last summer.
I hope Mo, Delly, Andy, RJ, Double T and Shump are all offended by the idea the Cavs need to bolster their bench at the deadline.
It should infuriate J.R. Smith that people don’t believe he’s a reliable playoff contributor because he’ll inevitably do something stupid, or he’ll disappear in big games. Or he’ll do something stupid, causing him to disappear from big games, like last year.
Tyronn Lue should be mad people question his credentials as a head coach, and at the belief that he’s a star player (well, basically a LeBron) kiss-ass like all the coaches that came before him.
David Griffin should still be furious his 2015 NBA Executive of the Year award is chilling at Bob Myers’ house.
Dan Gilbert should never NOT be mad at all the naysayers in the national media who believe he doesn’t know the first thing about running a franchise.
The Cavaliers don’t need any drastic shakeup at the trade deadline, they just need to come together as a team and play better Cavaliers basketball. They already have a championship caliber roster. They need to firmly establish an identity and stick to it. They need to scrap the (crunch time) iso stuff, swing the ball and move bodies against all of their opponents, not just the sorry teams. They need to go out of their way to keep Kevin Love involved offensively in spots below the three-point line. They need to embrace their size, because A) they’re not going to beat the Warriors playing small and fast— Golden State is just better at that than everyone, and B) there’s a chance they make the Finals and the Dubs don’t. After all, the Spurs are on pace to win 70 games too.
The Cavs were two victories away from delivering Cleveland their first championship in 51 years only eight months ago. One of the four they lost in the Finals to Golden State was a road overtime loss in Game 1, where Irving got hurt. Love never set foot on the court in the NBA Finals.
Cleveland is one of five teams that as of right now, can realistically win an NBA Championship (I’m being nice to the Clippers). Yet nobody seems to remember the following:
• How close they came last year.
• How they split with the Warriors in the regular season last year.
• How they held Golden State to their lowest scoring output of the season (26 points below their average!) on Christmas in Oakland, losing the game by only 6 points.
• How they split with the Spurs in the regular season last year.
• How they split with the Spurs in the regular season again this year, including dominating them in Cleveland just two weeks ago.
• How they beat OKC in December and how they manhandled the Clippers on January 21.
Has the NBA ever seen a team this talented, with this high of a win percentage this late in the season doubted this much? Sure, there’s some reason for doubt after the MLK Day loss to the Warriors and the subsequent dismissal of David Blatt. However we shouldn’t ignore the impact external noise can have on the intrinsic motivation of a team. The Denver Broncos taught us that.
A parade down E. 9th street is still extremely possible for the Cavs— it’s on them to make it happen. If this airing of the grievances has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no shortage of motivation.