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It is hard for me as an NBA fan to believe the Cleveland Cavaliers have no shot at getting to the NBA Finals with one of the greatest players of all-time. Yet, at this point in time it seems that the optimism surrounding King James and the Cavs that was around at the beginning of the season has vanished into thin air. Adding insult to injury, the man LeBron James may have pushed off of the team, Kyrie Irving, is helping lead the Boston Celtics to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
So is there anyway to fix the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers? Do they even have a shot at the Finals? Well, to start, the locker room seems to be in pieces according to multiple reports. Expanding on that, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, said that Cleveland held an emotional Monday meeting questioning the legitimacy of Kevin Love’s illness and investment in the team after he left the Cav’s game against the Thunder.
To go along with the seemingly fractured locker room chemistry, Cleveland has been worse than terrible defensively this season and we saw that Saturday when they gave up 148 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to NBA.com, Cleveland ranks 29 out of 30 teams in defensive rating only being slightly better than the lowly Sacramento Kings. Not the best.
So how can they fix themselves before it comes time for the playoffs? Obviously the first thing that comes to mind us fire Ty Lue but honestly there is no point. Its still just going to be up to whether or not the guys on the court perform.
The Cavaliers could also try and trade some of the pieces they have. There is a lot of expiring contracts and veteran talent on Cleveland’s roster and they could try to make a trade with players such as J.R. Smith, Kevin Love, and Isaiah Thomas. They also have the Brooklyn Nets pick in this years draft thanks to the trade they made with the Celtics.
The Cavs should make a move for someone like DeAndre Jordan who is a serious rebounder and rim protector: he would have a chance to totally rebuild Cleveland’s defense because the two players they are expecting to protect the rim are Tristan Thompson and Love who combined would have a defensive win share of 0.016 which would still be lower than Jordan’s who has his resting at 0.021 according to NBA.com.
This is one of the most interesting teams in a long time. They are imploding like the Chicago Bulls of last year but they have the best player in the world and will probably still somehow end up back in the Eastern Conference Finals. But that isn’t King James goal. He wants to win more rings so he can get closer to matching Michael Jordan’s six championship titles and if Cleveland can’t figure it out, there is a good chance James leaves Cleveland for a second time this offseason as a free agent.