Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

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Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by bobheckler on Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:58 pm


Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Chris Mannix,Yahoo Sports 9 hours ago

Why the future is ‘limited’ for the Cavaliers

CLEVELAND – What do you do?

This is what every coach, general manager and NBA owner has to wake up wondering. How do you build a championship team in an era when the name on the Larry O’Brien Trophy is all but engraved at the start of the season? Golden State knocked off Cleveland 118-113 on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena, and with the Warriors on the brink of a second title in three seasons, the question now isn’t how many years this team will win it all, but how many games will it lose along the way?

Welcome to the NBA, Golden State Edition. It’s soccer, if the Warriors are in one league and everyone else has been relegated to another. The modern era has never seen a team like this. They are the ’50s Celtics, the late-’70s Steelers, unbeatable at their best, slightly flawed at their worst.

The capped-out Cavs simply don’t have the talent to match the Warriors. (Getty Images)

Get ready, folks: The NBA season is going to become an eight-month coronation. A rebuilding team? Do it patiently. A team thinking about a rebuild? Heck yeah, now is the time to do it. A contender? Ugh. It’s not a good time to be a Toronto Raptor. It’s not a great stretch to be a Clipper, Rocket or Spur, either.

Cleveland? The Cavs will likely pay the biggest price. Another time, they could have been the super team. They have two high-level All-Stars and the best player in basketball. And against Golden State, they are fodder. The Cavs gave the Warriors their best shot on Wednesday. LeBron James (39 points) and Kyrie Irving (38) were brilliant. J.R. Smith added 16. The Cavs had a six-point lead with three minutes to go. They lost because the player last year’s 73-win team added – Kevin Durant – made shots only he can.

It’s demoralizing. It has to be. One by one the Cavaliers’ stars took to the podium. They were asked questions. They had no answers. “[Golden State] is a juggernaut of a team,” Irving said. Added James: “It’s probably the most firepower I’ve played [against] in my career.”

“They are definitely a different team than they were last year,” Irving said. “That’s definitely in full effect, that we’re all fully aware of. Going down the stretch, they’re a lot more poised, and when you have pieces like they have, they’re able to stretch the floor and give space to a great iso player at the top of the key and make big-time shots. That’s what they did.”

There will be calls for Cleveland to overhaul the roster after this. Why? The Cavs were 12-1 in the conference playoffs. Trade Kevin Love? Love is playing his best basketball in three years in Cleveland. He didn’t play great on Wednesday (nine points, 13 rebounds, six steals), but the bulk of his production came in the third quarter, when the Cavs turned a six-point halftime deficit into a six-point fourth-quarter lead.

Fire up the trade rumors. Love for Carmelo Anthony? That doesn’t make Cleveland better. Love for Paul George? Not sure what a rebuilding Pacers team wants with a 28-year-old forward on a max contract. Love’s value to the capped-out Cavs is likely far more than what they could get in return.

Bottom line: Cleveland’s screwed. The Cavs stole a title last year – and they should be thrilled they did. Because Cleveland is on a path that would make the Buffalo Bills blush. They are good enough to roll through the East for the next few seasons. But they are nowhere near good enough to beat the behemoth coming out of the West.

What’s scarier: Golden State could get better. The core of the team – those four 20-somethings just entering the prime of their careers – aren’t going anywhere. The skill level of Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is matched by an awareness of what it is they are a part of. Recently, I asked Thompson if he thought about one day being the face of another team. He shrugged. “Yeah,” Thompson said. “It’s just winning is so much fun.”

For the next four years, Golden State is going to be the prohibitive title favorite. And that will make it an appealing free-agent destination. Every year a new crop of ring chasers hits the market. Last summer it was David West; he’s one win away from punctuating a 14-year career with a title.

Think other vets won’t follow suit? The Warriors are the closest thing to an automatic championship ring. Take Zach Randolph. He’s 35. He’s played 16 seasons. He’s made $174 million doing it. Might Randolph, reinvented as a sixth man in Memphis, be interested in taking a paycut to come off Golden State’s bench?

He might. He might not. But make no mistake: Someone will.

This is a great time to be a Warriors fan. It’s a lousy time to support anyone else. The NBA’s inability to smooth its salary cap and the players union’s unwillingness to see the benefit of it has created the current climate. We might get Cavs-Warriors 4 or 5, but the outcome will be no different. It’s title-collecting time for Golden State now. It’s participation trophies for everybody else.

MY NOTE:  All the more reason why Danny should NOT trade this #1 pick, nor the 2018 Brooklyn pick.  Our 3-5 (maybe 4-7 when Rondo got traded) year rebuild just got extended to 7-10 years through no fault of Danny, Wyc or Brad's.  The only hope the other 29 teams have against GSW is if the salary cap forces GSW's hand into trading Durant (HIGHLY unlikely), Curry (equally HIGHLY unlikely) or Thompson (just slightly less HIGHLY unlikely). As long as they have those 3 then Ring Wraiths like Zaza and David West and McGee will flock to the bay area for the veteran's minimum.


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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by red16russ11 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:08 pm

I don't know. It's so hard now. Klay could leave or be traded. Iggy and Livingston are up, and will want big raises...I agree they will get the ring chasers, but didn't CLE get Korver, Frye, Williams, etc. for the same reasons. As Pop said, "we can't pay everybody". Klay is their best defender. Do they stick it out with Green?

They are the team to beat, and the model to follow, but it will be hard to keep the band together.

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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by swish on Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Garnett and Pierce have now been gone for 4 years - and with the Warriors looking good for another 5 years I'm not so sure that Ainge wants to sit through a 9 year rebuild. I look for him to go the short term route and use all his chips to try to put a star studded team on the court - sooner rather than later.



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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by 112288 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:33 pm

Warriors will begin to ebb as their players turn into free agents..........they cannot keep every superstar.

The shift will begin sooner then later. Besides East Coast basketball is still weaker the West Coast teams. That too will begin to change as well.

Danny will not go for quick fixes because no matter the star player...there is no guarantee a championship will follow.


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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by mulcogiseng on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:42 pm

Since the original Olympics some one who can't/doesn't play or participate is shouting gloom and doom and there is no hope of victory. But in sports, perhaps as in no other endeavor, hope springs eternal. The greatest horse of the first half of the 20th century lost to Upset, only loss in that magnificent career. Hoosiers wasn't fiction and the Red Sox came back to beat the Yankees. The true majestic nature of sport is that the upset can happen. That the team of hard working overachievers can somehow beat the Champs. That an older Ali could beat the unbeatable Foreman. That an old an outdated team can go from the 4th seed in the EC to putting a stop to a balloon drop. I'm sure that certain people will want to dash all hope of Boston winning in the next 10 years and can come up with all kinds of weakass stats to back them up. Sure it doesn't happen all the time. But it does happen. Stay the course, trust the process. We will hang #18 in the next three years, no matter what.

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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

Post by sinus007 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:21 pm

One more thing to keep in mind.
This year GSW are driven by the last year's lost (don't forget they were 3-1 and it had to sting to loose). This year they will win to avenge, to prove that they're the best, etc. Question is will they be capable to sustain this drive in '18, '19 and beyond? Are they driven enough to repeat what LAL and Bulls did in 90's and 00's? I doubt they can do what Celtics did in the 60's.
As for the Celtics trying to beat the Dubs, as I like to say: never try - never get.


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Re: Harsh reality: Cavs are cooked – now and forever

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