Since the departure of LeBron James back in 2010, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been steadily adjusting to life without the best overall player in the game. The Cavaliers have jettisoned weighty contracts and aging players in lieu of cap space, draft picks and a young nucleus of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson.
Slowly and steadily this one man show that was ‘James and the gang’ has evolved into something that closely resembles a playoff team. Now, with the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft around the corner followed by an equally important free agency, it’s time to take that last step from ‘closely resembles’ to actual playoff squad.
With this last step before the Cavaliers, now is the time to ask themselves what type of playoff team do they want to be? The answer to that question can be found in the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have made a huge name for themselves this postseason with their dominating interior play combined with an unselfish attitude. They have shown the NBA that despite the trend of ‘small-ball’ being played by the majority of the teams, there still is room for having big, dominating monsters that protect the lane.
In essence, they have shown that good defense can overcome just about anything anyone can throw at you, and that’s a lesson that the Cavaliers need to take to heart.
With the rehiring of Mike Brown, it looks as if Cleveland realizes exactly what it needs to do, which is get noticeably better on the defensive end. Obviously, the Cavaliers are probably not going to find another Roy Hibbert in this draft, but there are pieces available that can improve their interior quite a bit; whether that’s Nerlens Noel or not remains to be seen.
What is known, however, is that what the Cavaliers do in the next two months will be almost as important as the decision of one man back in 2010 in regards to the future of this organization. Hopefully the Cleveland brass have been paying attention to the Eastern Conference Playoffs, because there are answers to be had right there as to what to do to make the next step.