Still Waiting…

There is certainly disappointment of another season without a title. There are numerous questions about match-ups and strategy that certainly need to be addressed, especially if Mike Brown and the core of this team return. But what can you do? How much disappointment and heartbreak can a fan or fan base endure?

To me, the blow of this series loss is somewhat cushioned because I’m certain that LeBron is injured. Yes, there are other theories and rumors in play, but tell me which is more likely. Is it more likely that LeBron decided during the postseason, that he was finished with Mike Brown and wanted to throw his best chance at a title to get him fired- or that he was dealing with an injury that limited his mobility with his shooting arm? LeBron James could have had Brown fired at any point. Any time he wanted I believe. Why throw away a chance to win just to spite a coach?

Is it more likely that LeBron was hurt and unable to feel the ball like normal, or that he just played carelessly with passes and dribbling in the biggest game of his career? Given what you have seen from this man for the last seven years- the blood, sweat and tears; do you really think that he said I don’t care about winning anymore? Is it more likely that he “has his foot out the door and his mind in New York” or that he just doesn’t know how to play with this type of injury? He had 19 rebounds. Guys that aren’t trying don’t get that many rebounds.

So what about the rest of the team? Poor efforts? Maybe. Let’s not forget that this was a starting 5 playing for the first time together all season. Mike Brown said after the game “We never got into a rhythm.” I concur. There was no rhythm offensively and no cohesiveness defensively. Now, who is to blame for that is certainly up for discussion. Think Brown would like to have those four games back at the end of the regular season? But would four games make a difference against a Boston starting five that has been together for years now? Boston plugged in new role players. Cleveland was trying to plug in new components and make things work on the fly. It caught up to them.

And if I’m correct about LeBron’s injury, the rest of team had no idea how to react to LeBron. The entire offense is predicated on James making shots, driving to the rim and finishing, and setting up open looks for teammates. Sure, when LeBron is out of the game they can improvise for a few minutes at a time. When he’s in the game and not himself? They don’t know what to do. Look at how many times LeBron passed the ball to someone who was covered and can’t create shots for themselves. Why would he do that if he wasn’t able to finish the play himself? And why would the rest of the team expect anything different from LeBron while he is on the court than for him to be his usual self? I think Mo started to see tonight that he had to do more, and he just couldn’t get it done.

You may think I’m making excuses. I’m not. I choose to use the past seven years of LeBron’s career to help explain what we just saw. I believe that we will find out soon the extent of LBJ’s injury, and that it seriously affected him. If I’m wrong then I will certainly admit that. I believe Coach Brown will be fired. Unless LeBron makes his staying a condition. He won’t. His in-game decisions in the playoffs over the years warrant it.

In the end will LeBron return to the Cavaliers? Like Lebron said in his press conference, I really don’t want to think about that right now.

  • Harv 21

    A lot of actual info on the team and LeBron will start leaking out soon, so trying to delay my own autopsy, but would add a few things:

    – Team chemistry is always bad when you’re getting your behinds kicked in a playoff series you expected to win. Did Shaq call him out? Maybe, but that body language might have been just a team realizing they are screwed and will be blamed.

    – LeBron has never had a guru teammate, unless you count Rickey Davis and that ilk. At this stage of his global icon status, questionable whether he would even listen to a Yoda telling him a warrior must find a way, step up when hurt. Last night, watching Garnett all in Big Baby’s face, lecturing him with an arm around him, while Baby was squirming like an infant trying to escape a spoonful of medicine, I was wondering how LeBron would react to that from a guy with a ring. I keep coming back to this: sometimes big money too young makes you think you know it all and saps the drive to win. It’s not just the Jhonny Peraltas of the sports world who fall victim to this, it’s the Lebrons and Mo Williamses too. It’s human nature.

  • MattC

    I’m just not even bummed about this loss… more numb, as others have aptly said.

    Last year’s ECF loss was like dying of a sudden heart attack. This year’s loss was like watching a relative waste away from a terminal illness and mercifully die when the pain got to be too much. It was a blessing.

  • nyxz

    I aggree Shaq and Mo seen to be working together during that game, it was a quiet alliance but it was felt.

  • @53 if so it certainly took them long enough. Mo Notti had another
    bust in the playoffs and should be the second person on the hot seat
    after Mike Brown. But Williams wasn’t alone he had plenty
    of company with his fellow guards alone.

  • Bill

    If you think Lebron was truly suffering from an injury, then how do you explain the 38 points he dropped in game 3 and 35 in game 1? Also, Lebron was shooting outside shots and during press conferences seemed to have no problem leaning on the “injured elbow.” I am not doubting that maybe the elbow hurt him during this series, but it was like he just turned things on and off. He also made poor decisions with the basketball, did not show hustle on the court, and for the games he played poorly, he stood around and watched his teammates. He seemed to be disinterested like everyone else has said and to have no will or passion to win this series. Please give me your thoughts.

  • Judy O

    I will never unders tand what happened. i watched this team play the past 3 days and could not at all recoqniz who theywere nor what they were doing. at some point in the 4th quarter i got a glimpse of them but that was it. Something happened. I completely agree lebron’s injury was much more than we thought. But also there must have been a serious disconnect in that locker room in the past week that damaged who they really were and they couldnt get back to where they were.After game 5 i was trully upset with Lebron. Now after all is said and done i just wish him well. I hope he stays. He does have unfinished business. But if he has a chance to win that elusive ring elsewhere i will support him either way.I will cheer him on regardless of where he goes because take away the past 3 games, this man has done more than his 25yrs of age should be capable of.
    As for the Cavs i have no idea where they go from here. Mike Brown should be fired. But what then. Who replaces him. The next 48 days will be puzzling as we all try to figure out what happened to ourteam, where we go from here and what needs to be done. I personally have no clue. But for now i guess we digest the hurt and slowly heal.

  • Bill

    Also, besides possibly firing Mike Brown, what other moves do you see the cavs addressing or should they address in the off season? Shaq and Z could both be retiring. I question Jamison’s ability to fit in with this team and especially to play defense. Mo doesn’t show up for the playoffs and is a liability on defense. Like others have said too, we have too many role players on this team. What needs do you want to see the cavs fill and who should they go for?

  • AsperCreme

    I think it could be possible that his elbow was hurt more than anyone said. It could have been a huge distraction.

    Anyway, Mike Brown has to go. Has to.

  • NCackelacky

    If you go back and look at the film. After LBJ took those two 3 pt shots and went to the bench, you could tell that he was hurt. He wanted to grab his right arm but started moving his fingers and rubbing his hand.

    The rest of the Cavs looked just like the Bulls at various times would look. Mike made them better than they were but the problem with the Cavs is that LBJ was trying to get them involved but no one had the mindset to step up to the plate, not even Coach Brown. If Brown did not know that LBJ was hurt, he should have! I think Brown as taken the Cavs as far as he is capable of coaching. Somewhere, somebody forgot to tell the rest of the Cavs that they were all professional ball players. Most, it not all of them at one point in their careers were the superstar for their teams, to playing that caliber of ball should not be foregin to any of them. Their efforts sucked.

  • JM

    Chemistry really seemed to be a factor. The fact they weren’t challenged all season didn’t help either. We can go back to the ’08-09 team. They rolled through Detroit and Atlanta. Then they ran into orlando and had all kinds of problems. This year they beat Chicago. Then they ran into Boston. Besides LeBron and Shaq and Z none of them were through playoff wars. When the pressure was on they all were lost.

  • Jake

    I absolutely feel that Lebron’s poor play was due to injury. Injuries have the same effect on an athlete in any sport both physical and mental. He clearly could not drive to hoop like he has been throughout his career in the NBA and he was settling for long shots, one aspect of his game that needs much improvement. I have never seen Lebron struggle like he did in this series. I don’t see him staying in Cleveland not after the team gave up like they did.

  • Ken

    Lebron May be hurt or he may have choked, It happens to the best of them. Some players are built for the REGULAR SEASON & some Excel in the playoffs. After watching Lebron in the playoffs I don’t think he handles TRUE pressure very well. He makes impulsive bad decisions & does things that he never did during the regular season. Say what you want but I think we’ve seen the last of Lebron as a Cavalier, But I also don’t think that’s a bad thing. He’ll look to go to Chicago to help them & to follow his Idol, Michael Jordon. It’s time to rebuild WITHOUT him, I wouldn’t even make him an offer. use the money else where it’s already been proven that you CAN win WITHOUT him, Just ask the Spurs, The Celtics, & The Magic