Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Are the Cleveland Cavaliers the Best Team in Basketball Now?

It’s incredible how much the landscape of the NBA can change in just a couple months, but such a turnaround also speaks to the awesome talent that is LeBron James.  The Miami Heat (James’ former team) just went from potential 3-peat NBA champions to utterly decimated by his departure.  Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers went from having one of the league’s worst teams to arguably it’s best, because the arrival of “King James” has now led to a cascade of other big name arrivals and NBA Finals-winning potential.

Are the Cavs really the best NBA team now?  With a young superstar point guard in Kyrie Irving, the impending arrival of another young All-Star power forward in Kevin Love, and with the veteran presence of James, Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, and Mike Miller, on paper this Cavaliers team should certainly contend for the NBA crown, and could very well be far and away the best team in the league next season.

This is the incredible attraction of teams to LeBron James.  You see, when Cleveland was able to prize their prodigal son back home, it wasn’t just him they were signing.  They were able to shine a bright beacon from an otherwise forgettable franchise to scores of NBA stars that would potentially like to come join a championship caliber team.  Take Kevin Love for example, a proven star at the Minnesota Timberwolves.  His team suffered to a sub-.500 record and has never even made the playoffs in his 6 seasons at the club.  In Cleveland with James he’ll have a chance to make a name for himself and win it all.
A similar experience had been unfolding for Cleveland’s point guard Kyrie Irving, a top draft pick who has yet to taste the NBA playoffs in his 3 years, two of which he has been named an All-Star.  Put the 3 of these guys together and you have another Big 3” similar to the guys in Miami, except they are 10 years younger and are only going to get better as they develop.

At 29, LeBron James will be the undisputed leader of the team; a position he often times gave up to Dwayne Wade in Miami.  This is now his time, when he’ll bring a title back to his home city of Cleveland.
While the team looks destined for glory, I do have reservations though.  Putting together a championship team takes time for players to click and really gel.  Even the Miami Heat was defeated in their first season with James.  Especially with Love and Irving’s youth and inexperience in the playoffs, there could be some growing pains.  Many may argue that the San Antonio Spurs remain the best franchise, or perhaps even the Oklahoma City Thunder or Houston Rockets.  But one thing remains certain: that with LeBron James back in his home uniform, the Cleveland Cavaliers will definitely be contenders once again.  The city has experienced so much sports heartache over the years that for someone of his talent to return to the team is a real blessing.  People may actually begin to stop hating LeBron and hope that he does earn Cleveland the championship that they so covet!  This fresh team will be a delight to watch in the coming seasons ahead and will probably win a title within 3 years.

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