LeBron James has taken his incredible talent and returned home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also been instrumental in assembling a team to surround him that rivals if not tops what the “Big Three” of James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade put together in Miami. In just four seasons together the Miami Heat went to the NBA Finals four consecutive times, winning two consecutive titles while losing the first to the Dallas Mavericks and the fourth to the San Antonio Spurs. My buddy and diehard Cavaliers fan Don asked me the following question yesterday:
If the Cavs don’t win the Championship their first season together should the season be considered a bust? It’s a good question that isn’t easy to answer, but I’ll give it a shot anyhow.
One of the biggest questions is how this is all going to work. We know what James can do; we also have some idea how players like Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and James Jones will handle the playoffs. But what we don’t know is how Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anderson Verajao and most importantly Kevin Love will handle the playoffs.
The other question I have is how quickly new head coach David Blatt will adapt to the rigors of coaching in the NBA. Having spent 12 years living in Greece, I’m familiar with Blatt as both a player and as a coach and have mad respect for him. But coaching in the NBA and dealing with the mindset and ego of the Association’s premier stars is another ballgame altogether.
Speaking of Blatt, another question I have is how in the world is he going to convince Kevin Love to play defense? Kirk Rambis and Rick Adelman are both respected around the NBA, and they couldn’t convince him to so. What leads us to believe Blatt will be able to?
These are just some (of many) questions I have about this team; but to answer the question I would say no, the Cavaliers season wouldn’t be a bust if they don’t win it all. I don’t think if they fail to reach the Finals their first season together the season should be considered a bust. They have all the right ingredients to build a dynasty, but they have some growing to do as individuals and as a team before not winning a Championship together could or even should be considered a bust.