Tag Archives: Cavs

DubNation: Here Comes Revenge

I return this nightmare I will find you.

Sleepless, cloaked in despair, I’m behind you

Far too late for frail amends, now its time for Sweet Revenge

Sweet Revenge I’m Dreaming….I will end you

The snickers, the derisive tones, the 3-1 jokes will come to an end when these NBA Finals are over in a few weeks.

That is because the Golden State Warriors 2017 Seek and Destroy mission is only missing one thing……the decimation of Cleveland.

How does that happen and why I believe this thing will be over sooner rather than later ?

  1. Revenge Factor……these aren’t the Washington Generals that want a piece of LeBron and the Cavaliers. This is a team that has gone 207-39 over the last three years. And, despite what the talking heads want you to believe this team is driven by one sole purpose, BEATING CLEVELAND….PERIOD. The fire burns hot in the guts of these Warriors who were shocked, stunned and frankly embarrassed by their 2016 Finals meltdown. This entire season has built to this point. Don’t under-estimate the fire that burns below.
  2. Warriors are just better…….When healthy and at full strength (which they are) the Golden State Warriors are simply better than Cleveland. Their multi-faceted star-studded attack. Their trio of deadly three-point shooters and more importantly their ability to defend. The most-underrated aspect of the Dubs is their ability to defend as a team. Their help-side is some of the best in the league and Cleveland isn’t in their same league. WHEN Cleveland wants to, they can defend at an elite level in spurts. But, consistently you can get good to great shots against the Cavaliers. This will ultimately be their downfall.
  3. TRUST…..The only player I trust on Cleveland to play well in each and every game is LeBron James. To be fair the player the Warriors should most fear is Kyrie Irving. His clutch gene was on full display in the Cavaliers Finals comeback last season. Trust is one of the biggest reasons why the Warriors are so great. They trust each other. They believe in each other. They recommitted themselves to this organizational doctrine after last year’s Game 7 last 5-minute debacle when they went off script and quit trusting and quit sharing. I don’t see that this time around. The Warriors have learned from the ills of last year and the weaponry is different. Their ability to play off of one another and not solely focus on going for “theirs” is what separates this team from 2016. If I’m Cleveland do I trust Kevin Love to make big shots down six with three minutes to go ? I wouldn’t…..
  4. Lest we forget…….Something strange happened on the way to the Warriors blowing that 3-1 lead and Cleveland capturing “The Land” their first basketball title. We forgot how God-awful Kevin Love was the entire series. We also forgot how terrible Kyrie Irving played in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena to give the Dubs a 3-1 series lead. Watch the game. I have, he was dismal. Now, Irving responded with three amazing and clutch games over the final three, but the margin for error for this Cleveland team is much smaller than Golden State’s. Irving needs to be great ALL THE TIME. Love needs to be great ALL THE TIME. If they aren’t, this thing won’t be competitive.
  5. IT’S TIME…….If Kevin Durant wants to cement his greatness he will perform and excel in this series. It’s pretty damn simple. He left OKC because he didn’t want to play with a ball-hogging selfish stat accumulator in Russell Westbrook and he wanted to win in a free-flowing selfless brand and style of basketball. He has helped bring the Warriors to the precipice of a championship and it is his time to shine. No, not by scoring 40 points a game but by helping Steph lead this group with the same selfless style that had them win 67 regular season and 12 straight playoff games. It’s Durant’s time to shine. If he tries to do it by himself, then that is when trouble could creep in. He must remember why he came here and trust that the guys he is in the fox-hole with will help him bring it home.
  6. NO KLAY….NO RING…….As confident as I am that the Warriors are going to win this thing, the only thing that would bring me trepidation is if the Warriors don’t feed Klay Thompson and try to get him going. You notice that I don’t think the Warriors MUST get Klay going, but they need to make the effort like they did in the San Antonio series. I saw Curry, Draymond and Durant all pass up numerous open shots and opportunities to try and get Klay going. He never did. That’s OK. I believe if the Warriors get Klay on track then it opens EVERYTHING up for the squad and it will be “all she wrote.”  Klay needs to find his shot. If its not there, then take the ball aggressively to the hole, back-cut get a lay-up, get to the line. He is too good a player to not be a threat. The Warriors know this.
  7. I LOVE CURRY……..Yes, I love yellow curry, green curry, and red curry. I also love that Steph Curry is being discounted in these Finals. The story-lines are all about LeBron chasing Michael and Durant’s legacy. I think Steph needs a great Finals to cement his. Cleveland is going to attack him at every turn, running him off of screens and making him work for all his looks. The problem for the Cavaliers is they will not be seeing the hampered Steph of 2016 or the deferring and dis-engaged Steph of December and January. This current Steph is engaged, in-sync, and playing spry and ruthlessly. I think Cleveland will have a very difficult time defending him with the Warriors dizzying ball movement. LeBron may need this, as does KD, but Steph needs this as well.

 

Warriors could be big losers in LeBron’s return to Cleveland

 

Without a doubt the legacy of LeBron James was rehabilitated with one well-penned letter. And now that James returns home the trickle-down effect on the rest of the Association will be significant.

Dissecting the winners and losers in this monumental power shift is easy. Winners, LeBron, the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert and to be quite honest, the league. This is a great move for the NBA. The Association’s biggest star was a villain. His “Decision” in 2010 left a sour taste in many people’s mouths. And while James didn’t owe the fans anything, his dis-respect for his home-town team was shameful.

Now, the league’s best player and biggest star is a sports-hero again. He returns home, with hat in hand, fully aware how he wronged them before and how he hopes to make amends. This is truly a Prodigal Son story. The biblical tale where the pretentious son leaves the house, vowing never to return. Only to return, apologetic, solemn and contrite and asking forgiveness. It’s a great story. It fits, and we are seeing it in motion. The NBA and its fans are big winners here.

The biggest losers, without a doubt, the Miami Heat. The Heat had to feel supremely confident in knowing that they could offer him the most money, along with the possibility of playing with his best buddies. What they didn’t realize is that James missed home. He missed Akron, and the tug of home was bigger than anything Miami could offer. The Heat will now try to piece together the remnants of an aging roster that is deficient in high quality talent but has money to spend.

I don’t consider Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh big losers in this scenario. In my opinion they are partly responsible for James bolting. Wade’s eroding skills and Bosh becoming a shell of his Toronto-self signaled to James that his future was not in South Beach. Wade will get paid by Heat owner Micky Arison, but he is not even close to the player he once was. There is too much tread on those worn tires.

Bosh has become a perimeter jump shooter, that didn’t seem to fit with James anymore. And, while they are great friends, when on the floor together their games just didn’t mesh. With Bosh signing a 5-year 118 million dollar deal to stay in Miami, maybe he can become that dominating player again. He will get his shot, with no James in the picture. I think we could see the Bosh that was such a special player in Toronto because now Miami will need him more than ever.

The other big loser, sadly my beloved Golden State Warriors. Now that James is back in Cleveland he will want to surround himself with other high quality, YOUNG championship type players who are hungry. One of those players is Kevin Love. Love has told the Minnesota Timberwolves he will not re-sign with them and will leave via free agency if they don’t trade him. Love has played six outstanding seasons in the league and has yet to make the playoffs. He exemplifies hungry.

The Cavaliers have assets and picks to trade. Ironically, they have first round picks galore, including a Miami Heat first rounder from the 2010 LeBron DECISION to leave Cleveland. I can see the Cavs packaging a few first-rounders and a couple of young players for Love. This package may be something the Wolves jump at as they try to get impact players and rebuild. Minnesota GM and head coach Flip Saunders has said he doesn’t want the TWolves to rebuild.  He says he wants to compete now. But if he is honest with himself and his fan base, they will need picks and some ping-pong ball love  in the draft lottery to become a playoff team. He may not WANT to tear the team down and rebuild it, but I think he has to.

Sadly, that means the Warriors and their flirtations with the Wolves in trying to acquire Love may fall on deaf ears. It may also force the Warriors to part with Klay Thompson, someone new head coach Steve Kerr and consultant Jerry West DO NOT want the Warriors to trade. The Timberwolves have insisted they get Thompson in any deal for Love. If the Warriors want that possible franchise turning power forward they may have to include Thompson.

This is a bad day for the Warriors who were the clubhouse leaders in the race for Love. They may have been able to get him without dealing Thompson, that seems far-fetched now. ESPN quotes Love as saying he is “intrigued” about joining James in Cleveland. If the Warriors truly want Love, they may have to act and act fast.

As the league celebrates its biggest star returning home, the Warriors need to make some hard and fast choices on whether they currently are constructed to win a championship, or whether Kevin Love is that missing piece. The Warriors war-room has some strong personalities with varying opinions, ultimately Joe Lacob signs the checks and will be making this decision, regardless of how much Kerr and West plead to keep this current core together.

Oh to be a fly on the wall in those Dubs offices…….