|Posted by Radatz on June 13, 2017 at 3:05 PM|
It's a place that's the definition of self-entitlement. It's a place that enabled Colin Kaepernick. It's a place where "Free Speech" as championed by its major state university results in "safe spaces," aka censorship. And now it's a place where its NBA champions have voted not to visit the White House. It's really hard to root for these guys and their fan base.
Nevertheless, they're champs for the second time in 3 years. Before you start crowning dynasties, read the list of NBA champions. But in this "everything's better now" era, an era that never goes away, they're already the greatest of all time in many minds. And they're very good. They're fun to watch, not because so many seem to be good shooters (it helps) but because of their coaching and teamwork.
This begs the question of what Cleveland's problem may be. The popular angle is that they need another 'superstar' to offset Durant. A more stable answer might be that they need a better coach.
But that's problematic too. Mike Brown got fired there largely due to LeBron James. Under Kerr, he had no problem leading the Warriors to win after win. Was that because of Kerr's influence? Surely in part it was, but it's hardly the whole answer. Brown seemed to do a good job. Which brings us to LeBron.
The Warriors, for all their talent, have it woven into a self-oiling machine. The Cavs stomp teams that don't have the skill or depth chart to match them, which is everyone else in the east. And nobody thinks Lue is a match for Kerr, or even Brown perhaps now, and nobody thinks he is 'really' the coach anyway. It's a mismatch at the top. It counts. Asks every NFL fan base inside or outside New England.
Which begs the question, would a bench change help Cleveland? It seems to be a complex question. The one endearing trait of the Warriors is that they seem to unite around their coach (at least so far) and play exactly as coached. No team works together like that by virtue of 'chemistry' or 'athleticism'.
By contrast, the Cavs are clearly being orchestrated by James when he's on the floor. It may be that no one else can do it. In that case a playmaking guard might be a good option for them. Chris Paul is being talked about. But here we go again. He's getting ink because he's one of LeBron's banana boat buddies. Meanwhile, James isn't Larry Bird. He seems to want to prove he's another great 'point forward', but really there's only been one of those.
Does anybody notice Durant or Curry or anyone else pointing to spots on the floor or doing much of anything other than moving the ball and making generally good decisions? Not really. They don't sit still long enough to do that anyway. It's a system, offensive and defensive, it comes from the bench, and Mike Brown was capable of coaching it in the interim of Kerr's absence. Last night when Cleveland began to press and overload the outside shooting lanes, GS simply began doing what a team should do --- they set picks and drove to the hoop instead of heaving up contested 3s. It won them the game.
The obvious reduction of all this is the question of whether Kerr himself would improve Cleveland. The answer again is complex. It's more like would he get the chance? The answer is only if LeBron were happy with what he wanted to do. James is a double-edged sword, a terror during the pick-your-own-teammates age in Miami. But even they were brought to their knees by a better-coached team from Texas. That facilitated James' white-horse return to Cleveland. Now it's happening again.
Wherever he goes, the coach is a puppet sporting a tentative seal of approval, and that may be a problem Cleveland can't overcome. It becomes a game of superstars-on-a-scale long before what's there already can ever be molded into the best it can be.
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