Latest Saga With the Cavaliers

Written By: Conner Pack

Since losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals it has been complete dysfunction in Cleveland. Week after week it seems to be one thing after another. It started when former general manager David Griffin and the Cavaliers decided to part ways, just a couple of days before the NBA Draft. From that point on all we’ve heard out of Cleveland is negativity. Then last Friday the dysfunction in my opinion reached its peak when news broke that Kyrie Irving had asked to be traded.

Once the news broke, rumors and best trade options began to swirl. Then Monday night, Stephen A. Smith put out a quote that he had gotten from someone in LeBron’s camp “if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass“. Whether you believe it or not, it’s out there now and all we can do is speculate. If you ask me it’s a bit harsh. I can understand LeBron being a little pissed, but beating someone’s ass… I don’t know about all that.

But I’m not here to harp on who’s going to beat whose ass, because in reality no one is going to beat anyone’s ass. LeBron and Kyrie aren’t stupid. All this does is solidify that the marriage between Kyrie and LeBron is over. And that they don’t care to play on the same team. That’s it.

Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way let’s think about what the best case scenario would be for all parties involved.

– Best Case Scenario for Kyrie

The best thing for Kyrie is to be traded as soon as possible. That way he can get to know his new team and create some chemistry before the season starts. What team would be the best fit? In my opinion it would be the Boston Celtics. But for this article we’ll stick to the four teams he told the Cavaliers management. Those teams were the Spurs, Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves.

Kyrie has made it known that he wants to be the star or focal point of what ever team he ends up playing on. Knowing that, I think it’s safe to say he won’t end up with the Spurs. Because Kawhi Leonard is the star down there and Popovich doesn’t deal with divas. As for the Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves I think he would be a solid fit for any of those teams.

If the Timberwolves could find a way to make a trade and not lose much I think the Timberwolves would be the best destination. They just added Jimmy Butler and they’re loaded with a ton of young talent. They’ve also got a really good head coach. But it’s highly unlikely the Timberwolves would be able to make that trade without giving up a lot. So let’s mark the Timberwolves off the list.

The Heat or Knicks will probably be where he’ll end up if the Cavaliers decide to trade him. I’m not sure who the Heat would trade in order to get Kyrie. As for the Knicks, it’s pretty obvious the Knicks could send Carmelo to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie. Porzingis and Kyrie? It might work.

– Best Case Scenario for LeBron

The best thing for LeBron is to just ride it out. I will say though the negative publicity that’s came from all this isn’t good but it’ll blow over like most incidents in the NBA. By next week there will be a new story and we’ll have something else to talk about.

Back to what’s best for LeBron, he’s got one year left on his contract in Cleveland and then he’ll be free to make his next move. Which I think will be leaving Cleveland and heading out west. So I think the best thing for him is to just lay low (which probably won’t happen) and play ball this season. If he and Kyrie can come to some sort of agreement than that would be great. But it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon.

– Best Case Scenario for Cleveland

The Cavaliers are between a rock and a hard place. They have the rising super star in Kyrie Irving who is the future. Then on the other side they have the home town guy and king of Cleveland in LeBron James. On one hand, if you trade Kyrie you could be giving away the future if LeBron indeed does leave after next season. On the other hand, if you trade away LeBron James you risk major backlash from the city of Cleveland.

I say that because look at LeBron’s track record, he’s been known to up and leave leaving teams high and dry. First he did it to Cleveland back in 2010, but for good reason the Cavaliers did not help in building a team around him. Then he did it to Miami back in 2014 after losing to the Spurs in the finals 4-1. So what’s not to say he won’t do it again? The only offseason move the Cavaliers have made is signing Derrick Rose and that just happened this week. And we all know this isn’t the same Derrick Rose that won the MVP a couple of years ago.

– Final Thoughts

All I’m saying is the Cavaliers as a whole are in a sticky situation all around. I think it’s about time they blow it up and start over. The team they have right now is a team that LeBron constructed. Kyrie is pulling a LeBron on LeBron. He doesn’t want to be left with a team that LeBron constructed and that isn’t capable of contending for a championship. It’s just a dysfunctional mess that no one has the answer to.

NBA Finals Game 1 Reaction

Written by: Conner Pack

– Quick Summary

After a season of build up, Cavs Warriors round three has begun. What started out as an interesting game quickly turned into a full on blood bath for the Cavaliers. The first half was very entertaining, up and down fast pace game, several awesome dunks, and of course some solid three point shooting on display. Then in the third quarter the Warriors caught fire and never looked back. Scoring the first 13 points of the half, extending their lead to double digits. The Cavaliers were held scoreless for the first four minutes of the third quarter. For the most part after that run the Warriors were in full control. The Warriors would win 113-91. 

– Take Aways 

Going into the game I posted a couple of things I was looking for: how will the Cavaliers match up with the Warriors, will either bench play a factor, rustiness, and will KD rise to the occasion. 

To start the game we got to see LeBron and KD matched up against one another. But, that didn’t last long. After the first quarter there really wasn’t much defense played by the Cavaliers. The Warriors got any and every shot they wanted. 

As for the bench play, the Cavaliers, didn’t get much production. Korver and D Will were both held scoreless. Jefferson scored 9 and had 5 rebounds. That was about it for them. The Warriors bench however would play well. Iggy knocked down some shots and played great defense. Ian Clark stepped up and played some good defense. But, the guy that stood out to me was Javelle McGee. He only played six minutes, but in those six minutes he brought a lot of energy. He scored 4 points, grabbed 5 rebounds 3 offensive, and he had a block. 

Rustiness, the rust was seen very early on. Several missed layups and wide open shots by both teams. One player that really stood out as far as being rusty was, Klay Thompson. Throughout the game he had trouble knocking down shots, unable to get into any offensive rhythm. 

Lastly, would KD rise to the occasion? He stole the show, back in the finals for the first time since 2012, Durant couldn’t be stopped. Finishing the game with 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. LeBron may be the best player in the NBA, but Durant was the best player on the court tonight. 

– Final Thoughts 

The Cavaliers have got to learn how to play defense. They cannot score with this Warriors team. Also, the Cavaliers have got to learn ball movement and player movement. Their half court offense is too stagnant, they do too much standing and watching. If you watch the Warriors, they have excellent ball movement and player movement. 

For the most part, the scoring for the Cavaliers comes from fast break opportunities and either LeBron going 1 on 1 or Kyrie going 1 on 1. Every now and then they’ll get a good pick and roll play for a dunk. It’s just a very stagnant offense. 

Besides the Cavaliers terrible offense, the Warriors defense was outstanding. Stoping numerous fast break opportunities for he Cavs as well as defending the half court exceptionally well. Because of the great Warriors, defense the Cavaliers had 20 turnovers to just 15 assist. LeBron had 8 of those turnovers. Turnovers against a great team like the Warriors won’t get it done. 

Overall, after game one I’m curious as to how the Cavaliers will bounce back in game two. Will KD be able to continue playing as good as he did tonight. And can the Cavaliers take care of the ball and get more offensive movement. 

Reaction to LeBron’s Press Conference¬†

Written by: Conner Pack

Last night after all the games had ended, I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. I checked the usual movie channels, then the sports stations, and nothing was really on that I cared to watch. So I go to ESPN and check out Sportscenter. Luckily, they were showing the Cavs post game press conferences, I typically enjoy watching them during the finals. It’s always interesting what they say and some of the questions. 

Since there wasn’t anything on last night I decided to leave it on ESPN and watch LeBron’s presser. For the most part I’m over LeBron and some of the stuff he does on and off the court. For example, the flopping and complaining about calls on the court. Then off the court, he’s been easily triggered this year and has been very vocal in regards of needing more help etc. So I’m just over all the BS. 

Putting all that aside, there’s no doubt LeBron’s the best basketball player in the world. His stats speak for them-self, he’s won three NBA championships, and he’s dominated the Eastern conference for the past seven years. This will be his seventh consecutive NBA finals appearance, eighth total going back to his first stint with the Cavs. What he’s been able to do is crazy. To still be playing at a high level at age 32 is remarkable. 

Now, while I was watching the press conference, a reporter asked a question talking about LeBron’s accomplishment of passing Michael Jordan and becoming the leader in points scored in the playoffs. LeBron’s response in my opinion was great. 

Click to see the interview

What I liked so much was the humble and genuine answer he gave. I grew up watching LeBron play and I’ve heard all the hype and everything surrounding him. Because of the hype and the talking heads comparing him and Jordan, as a regular guy watching from a far you wonder how LeBron feels about the comparisons. His response made it clear to me that LeBron doesn’t care about the comparisons. He knows what he’s done and he is playing the game how he wants to play it and that’s all that matters. 

Obviously he wants to be known as one of the greats, which he will be when it’s said and done. But with all the talking heads comparing and going on and on hearing this from LeBron last night was really good.