Thursday, November 13, 2014

Can LeBron James and the Cavs Get it Right in Time for the NBA Finals?

At 3-3, the newly superstar-clad Cleveland Cavaliers have hardly been the inspiring force that fans expected upon LeBron James’ arrival.  Not entirely surprising, the trio of James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving haven’t quite clicked so far this season; something quite common for a team just getting used to playing with one another.  With a record at .500, they’ve been considerably average.  While there is certainly a great deal of time to go before the NBA Playoffs for them to get this right, if the team continues to struggle they may miss out on the postseason entirely, let alone contend for the NBA title.

Further adding to the problems have been the rumblings bubbling under the surface.  Rumor has it that Love may opt out of his contract at the end of the season and push a move to the Los Angeles Lakers.  While it seems strange that he would want to leave so soon, based on the lackluster start to the season there certainly could be a disharmony amongst the key new arrivals.  Especially given his former star status with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he may struggle in the shadows of the team’s favored child, LeBron.
Meanwhile, an apparent heated chat between James and Irving could have led to a further trouble within the locker room.  Following a loss in which Irving failed to notch a single assist, the episode raised skepticism about whether the team will ever truly click like the championship-winning Miami Heat did for James.

As far as I can tell, this is far too early to tell if the Cavs will be contending for the title.  Possibly more than any other sport, basketball players must truly play with one another for an extended period of time before they reach their full potential as a team.  Given the talent alone of these three star players, a failure to start winning games with consistency would be a complete failure.  Also, one must understand that these guys are professionals.  They’ve played basketball for their whole lives and certainly know how to work well with others.  Constructing a championship caliber team simply takes time.

But what about the Cavs’ title hopes this season?  LeBron James certainly is capable of taking any team far, but a complete team cohesiveness is needed to win titles.  Evidence of the fact can be shown in the Heat’s Finals loss in James’ first season in Miami, as well as the San Antonio Spurs’ team effort to win the championship this past season.

The big question will be as to whether the stars of the Cavaliers can grow together in this year and compete for the title.  Fortunately, the generally weakened Eastern Conference should provide an easy route to the NBA Finals for them, but the Western Conference champion will likely prove to be very competitive amongst the likes of the Spurs, Golden State WarriorsOklahoma City ThunderDallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets.  It’s never easy to win in the NBA, even with LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving!  Chances are that the early struggles will continue for the better part of the season and that the Cavs will probably not win a title this year.  However, as the players grow (considering Irving and Love stick around!), Cleveland should expect to earn an NBA title in the coming years ahead!

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