The Cleveland Cavaliers are 38-14, they’ve won eight of 10, and they’re the best team in the Eastern Conference. They’re also averaging 111 points over their last 10 games.
Is that a byproduct of Tyronn Lue, who, upon taking over for David Blatt, called out LeBron James for being out of shape and criticized Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for being too worried about their brand?
“Well, you’re always going to get a little bounce,” Bleacher Report NBA senior writer Ric Bucher said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “When there’s any sort of coaching change, you’re always going to get a bounce. In general in the locker room, people are aware that there’s a dead man walking and that begins to carry a weight in and of itself when you’re just waiting and anticipating when’s it going to happen. You’re distracted by the very nature of that situation. Now, Tyronn calling out LeBron and making him accountable, there’s been reports that David Blatt was afraid to do (that), and I do know that he did tip-toe around LeBron far more than people would have wanted. That in and of itself isn’t going have a dramatic difference in how the Cavaliers play. I just think they are a structurally flawed team as far as where the bar is set, which is they’re supposed to win a championship.”
The Cavs have a three-game lead over Toronto (35-17) in the East, but they’re 0-3 against Golden State and San Antonio. Well, guess who the Cavs will likely face in the NBA Finals?
Yup, Golden State or San Antonio. Likely Golden State.
“Are they the best team in the Eastern Conference?” Bucher asked of the Cavs. “Yeah, you could make that case. Are they better than the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs? I can tell you they’re not better than the Warriors, and I don’t see any way that they are going to be. Simply the way they are structured, they cannot play fast. They cannot play at the tempo the Warriors play and score with them at the same pace. And when they play bigger and play to their strengths, which is milking LeBron in the half-court, then they can’t play fast enough to keep up with them. If it wasn’t championship or bust and if David Blatt weren’t fired after getting to the Finals but not winning a ring and having them have the best record in the Eastern Conference but proving that they were not good enough to beat the Warriors, there’s nothing Tyronn Lue can change. It’s inherently how the Cleveland Cavaliers are built that makes them less than the Golden State Warriors.”