It was too difficult to write an instant response about the Cavs-Celtics series. Game 5 and Game 6 seem like a fractured nightmare, unrelated to the season we’d been enjoying. The fact that the Cavaliers gave up with a minute and a half to go, down by 9, makes me wonder why I cared for so many months about a team, who, when things got intense, decided to lay down and die. The shocking lack of effort from the Cavaliers in Game 5 and 6 border on conspiratorial. That needs to be said. If a poll question were to occur with this sentence: “Was there a suspicious lack of effort from the Cavaliers in Games 5 and 6?” I’m sure there would be a greater majority answering yes. When Delonte West threw a pass against the backboard in Game 6 after jumping and finding only lazy cutters to the lane, I knew then we were toast. The team had given up on each other, on the coach, on the season, on being winners.
Cavaliers fans need answers from the players and coaches. Full answers. Complete answers. Otherwise, how can we ever believe in this kind of team again? It’s as if we were led up Everest by a group of professional guides, only, near the top, they said to us: “This is a good enough view, we’re going back down.”
Was it Mike Brown? Was it Lebron not wanting the ‘Cleveland Experience’ anymore? Was it player A hating player B? Was it the pressure? Was it ‘outside’ pressure? The Celtics are a team who don’t make mistakes in the playoffs, and they are indeed discplined, tough, and quite talented, but to lay an egg after dismantling a team 124-95, reeks of internal conflict.
I’m tired of people also saying that Lebron did not get enough help. Lebron, you dominate the ball. The only way you’re able to get into a rhythm is if you have the ball in your hands for a long period of time. Perhaps 10 seconds on the shot clock. Yes, you pass off to teammates, you get your assists, but you control the entire possession. Please, pick a position (preferably point guard) and BECOME that position. You need a ROLE. Your teammates need to see you have a role, so they know how to play off of you. You’re not Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, playing many instruments at once, you are one person of five. And each part must harmonize with the other. Maybe you realized this in game 5, and chose to be a small forward and nothing but a small forward. But, sadly, that is not what that particular team was used to. That kind of change can only occur in the offseason. No matter where you go, please, choose a position and dominate it. If you don’t, you will forever be a regular season god who gets double-teamed in the playoffs. Oh, and find a coach who refuses to believe you are great. Find a coach who takes you for granted and treats you like shit. Find a coach who believes you are nothing but a failure. Find a coach who doesn’t want to have fun. Only then will you win, and only then will people start to understand you…if that’s what you want.
You can find this in Cleveland, by the way.