Friday, June 15, 2007

How the Cavs Can Improve

The Cleveland Cavaliers have already broken records with Coach Mike Brown having the most playoff victories and Lebron James surpassing Mark Price's all time playoff scoring record. Unfortunately in their 1st ever appearance in the NBA Finals they met up with a juggernaut in the San Antonio Spurs who swept them 4 games to 0. It had reporters questioning Lebron James afterwards and asking him what he plans to do to improve, and specifically which areas of his game he will work on. Lebron stated he is happy with the team they have now and thinks it is capable of winning the title. Lebron said he won't focus on one particular aspect of his game either, but overall improvement to help the team improve.

The main thing Lebron is missing is a top notch star like Michael Jordan had as that secondary scorer (aka Scottie Pippen). The guy who could light things up and give the team a lift when MJ was cold or off. Many argue that the Larry Hughes injury is a slight part of why the Cavs were swept. Larry Hughes is no Scottie Pippen. A friend of mine told me a good move would be signing Jermaine O'Neal. I think O"Neal or possibly a Kevin Garnett could go a long way to improve this team. Either of those players would provide the Cavs even more rebounding and scoring options, lightening the load for Lebron. I saw one commentator/analyst suggest a point guard with a scoring mentality could also be of help. Unfortunately, those are tough to come by these days in the NBA, as teams see the value a Jason Kidd or Steve Nash can have for a team. But the addition of a second scorer can definitely help improve the team and help Lebron even more.

The other thing I think that may be needed is a coaching change. I can't call Mike Brown a great coach because Lebron is the reason the Cavs made it to the Finals. Lebron had a huge game 5 versus the Pistons. He willed his team to wins. I don't see this as the coaching genius of Mike Brown, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm no hater, but I also recognize, Doug Collins never won a title while coaching Michael Jordan. A friend of mine pointed out to me that Doug Collins never had Pippen, or Kerr or Rodman either. So its possible that a combination of a new coaching strategy/philosophy and maybe a new player or 2, could be just what this team needs to get it done. That said, hats off to the Cavs for making it to the Finals and battling back in games 3 and 4. These tests, failures and challenges will only help strengthen Lebron and the rest of the team for next year's run.

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