The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Season Finale was a dominating effort that showed why many were hopeful going into this season. The team is full of talent. From two dynamic, exciting and young guards in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Two Canadian power forwards, one with a high defensive upside and moderate offensive game (Tristan Thompson) and the other with a high upside offensive game and a moderate defensive game (Anthony Bennett). With the addition of Spencer Hawes the Cavs had two 7 footers with pick and pop ability, Hawes out to the 3 point line and Tyler Zeller out to 18 feet. The team has Anderson Varejao‘s relentless energy for defense and rebounding, as well as a decent mid range game. Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova are solid guards off the bench behind the two star guards. Luol Deng is a solid pro who plays hard on both ends of the court and is a winner.
Yet the team couldn’t put it together. Some might blame Mike Brown. Some blame Chris Grant. Some blame Dan Gilbert. Some blame Irving and Waiters. In the end blame is not a useful activity, though cathartic for many. Brown most likely will be back, unless Gilbert finds someone with a big name who will bring “his guy” in. Irving will return. Waiters will most likely return, unless a huge deal can be made for someone of Kevin Love‘s quality. So this is the group that needs to bring the Cavs over the hump. A big free agent could be added, the NBA Draft Lottery could be won but betting on either could be foolish.
A few takeaways from the actual game last night:
- When the team is loose and having fun they are tough.
- The team struggled under pressure all year.
- Playing against the Nets B Team makes things easier.
- This team is great when running on fast breaks.
- This team is great when active on defense.
- Those last two points are effort issues.
- It is easy to read into many things said or done during the Finale.
- “Luol Deng said ‘We’ in interviews about next year, he wants to be back.”
- “Kyrie stuck around and gave out shoes, he wants to stay.”
- “They all were happy and smiled throughout the game, they don’t care about the playoffs.”
- “There was no tribute to Varejao, who didn’t play, so he will be back next year.”
- “Carrik Felix and Anthony Bennett looked good, they will be stars next year.”
- “Tyler Zeller blew up, he is the starting Center we need.”
- The crowd was happy most of the night and enjoyed that type of game.
- As many as 6 players may have played their last game for the Cavs: Hawes, Deng, Varejao, C.J. Miles, Scotty Hopson, Alonzo Gee.
What were your takeaways from last night?