The bad news is that no matter what this team seems to do to improve around James, the Cavaliers still rely oh so heavily on one man. Sure, the Pistons played their starters for most of the game. However, this team is full of veteran players. It isn’t like Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Wally Szczerbiak are new to this whole basketball thing. (We’ll let J.J. Hickson slide…for now)
Mike Brown has considerable reason to be a bit on nerve about last night’s double-digit turnovers. Especially, as pointed out by Brian Windhorst, when their transition defense has been average at best. You can’t turn the ball over 17 times and then allow the opposing team to score on more than half of them. Well, assuming you want to win the game, anyways.
The entire game seemed to have been orchestrated by the opposing backcourts, with Rodney Stucky and Richard Hamilton combining for 35 points; Mo Williams, Danny Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak went for 42. On the other side of the coin, Zydrunas Ilguaskas, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson and Ben Wallace combined to go 6-for-25 from the floor. Ouch.
Thankfully, I think we can all agree that this team plays a different game when their leader is on the floor. Once the regular season rolls around, we likely won’t be seeing every player on the roster receive 20 minutes of play. At least, let’s hope not…