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News » Cavs can improve, but it won't be easy 2008-05-19


Cavs can improve, but it won't be easy 2008-05-19


Cavs can improve, but it won't be easy 2008-05-19
The Cavs have had a great string of success the past three seasons. One NBA Finals appearance and two conference semifinal runs both went a full seven games. Cavs fans are left wondering: Where does the franchise go from here?

After the Finals ended last season, I wrote that the Cavs had three major holes on their roster. No one could run an offense, no one could hit a jumper consistently, and no one could block shots.

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Better yet, the Cavs will pay Szczerbiak and Pavlovic a combined $17 million next season. Excuse me while I vomit.

Look, at least one of those guys is going to have to figure it out next year. If one of them had it going in the Celtics series, I would probably be putting together a preview for another go-around with the Pistons instead of this.

I have no idea what their problems are, but I know that the Cavs become instant title contenders next year if they can get a combined 20-25 points per night out of those two.

The final question lies with the big -an rotation, and this will really come down to a philosophical approach from Mike Brown and Danny Ferry.

There is no doubt that the Cavs, offensively, are at their best when there is one power forward/center and three shooters surrounding LeBron. When the Cavs go "small" on offense, they're much deadlier than they are with either Wallace or Andy Varejao on the court.

But...

The Cavs defense will suffer greatly if neither Wallace nor Andy are playing. No one else, for instance, would have stood a chance defending KG in the Celtics series. Opposing teams would find it much easier to score around the basket, the Cavs' rebounding numbers would suffer as well.

(Not to mention the two are on the hook for over $20 million next season.)

So it seems like six of one and a half dozen of another, right? If the Cavs play better on offense, their defense won't be as strong. When the Cavs play better defensively, they can't put it together on offense.

That's the rut we're in. With Brown in charge, though, the focus will remain on the defensive side of the ball. As it should — the Spurs won four titles with defense, the Pistons made it to six straight conference finals with defense.

And though Wallace and Andy are liabilities, the other four players on the court — LeBron, Z/Joe Smith, Szczerbiak/Pavlovic/miscellaneous shooting guard, and Boobie/West should still have plenty of opportunities to score, because LeBron is just that good.

But here's what separates those Spurs and Pistons teams from the Cavs right now: great point guard play and the ability to score when needed. Until the Cavs can achieve those goals, they'll be looking at lots of frustrating playoff defeats for years to come.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 19, 2008

 

 
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