What up world? I’m back in the NYC, and knee deep in work, so your boy Earl has to come back with another quick hitter blog. Hopefully once the work pile goes away, I can go more in depth with what I do, but for now enjoy this quick one.
We are barely into the new year, but we are also entering the meat of the NBA season. In our NBA season previews I predicted an NBA Finals that would feature the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Maybe both teams can still get there but things do not look good for the Cavs right now.
LeBron James has been dealing with some nagging injuries and has pulled himself out of games. Kevin Love looks disinterested in his role as the third wheel, and Kyrie Irving still doesn’t look as he’s capable of being the transformative player that he needs to be. Add to all of that, head coach David Blatt looks in over his head. The head coach has not gained the trust of his players at all, and so far the Cavs have overplayed their stars, and not relied on solid bench players such as Shawn Marion or Mike Miller.
The Cavs made a move this week that added JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the mix. The former New York Knicks do add depth, and one of them could start at shooting guard but I do not get why the Cavaliers traded away Dion Waiters and others to add Smith and Shumpert. Well, Shumpert I like. I am not as high on him as others are, but he does play hard and he does defend. Not a great scorer but you don’t need that with James and Irving. Adding JR makes no sense what so ever. For a team that has some chemistry issues, adding a noted chemistry killer makes zero sense. Hopefully LeBron can get him in line, but I do have my doubts.
The team also added former Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov. Now, Mozgov isn’t the rim protector that the team needs, but he should help ease the issues the franchise has had since the season ending injury to Anderson Varejao. Injuries have struck the Cavs hard and that has helped get them out to their slow start, but despite the new recruits in Shumpert, Smith, and Mozgov (all former New York Knicks ironically) I have some serious concerns about how well this team will finish the season.
Now, things aren’t all that bad on Lake Erie and the Cavs early struggles is very similar to what LeBron had to deal with in his first season in Miami, but I was one of the few fools who thought by pairing LeBron with younger and slightly better offensive players than what he had in Miami, and it would all click instantly. Wrong. So very wrong, Earl. It has been difficult, and barring a deal or two, it’s not looking good for the Cavs in the Eastern Conference. Not with the Chicago Bulls surging, not with Washington hanging around, or an Atlanta team that’s been far better than what anyone has expected.
The East is still very much up for grabs but as of early January, I’m easing off of my pick of the Cavs in the East. As far as the Clippers go, I still like them. The Western Conference, is deep as usual, and the Golden State Warriors have gotten off to a very hot start, but I don’t believe in them. I don’t believe in anybody in the West but if the Clippers don’t make it out of the West, a team that I do feel very strong about is the Dallas Mavericks.
Tyson Chandler, and Chandler Parsons were great additions but the trade for Rajon Rondo can help them get out of the West. I have to admit I’m a long time Rondo fan. He can’t shoot for shit, but he’s a triple double waiting to happen. When motivated he can attack the rim, and defend his ass off. Playing with Dirk Nowitzki and an owner like Mark Cuban should keep him interested. It also doesn’t hurt that this is a contract year and a max deal could be in reach.
So, I still like the Clippers. I like the Mavs. I’m not high on the Warriors and I’m not as high on the Cavaliers as I once was. It’s January. We’re still a month from the All-Star break and the trade deadline. Anything can still happen. Anything.
I’m done. Got my headphones banging out some Ray Cash, in support of this Cleveland vibe I’m on. Like that dude Ray, I guess I’m a pimp in my own mind. Salute to the Land real quick, but work awaits so I got to end this shit.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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