Biggest Misconceptions Surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers
Being a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers isn't an easy gig.
The past couple of years have been especially tough, with frequent losses and injuries to key players testing our very patience as fans.
Still, as Cleveland sports fans, we continue to watch, support, cheer and root on our favorite Wine and Golders no matter what.
While the play on the court isn't always spectacular, we know what's really going on in the organization and the direction it's headed.
Unfortunately, this isn't the case for outside fans.
For fans of other teams or just the NBA in general, there seems to be some common misconceptions surrounding this current Cavaliers team.
Today, we look to clear up some of these misconceptions by examining four of the biggest fallacies following the Cavs.
Fallacy No. 1: "OK, the Cavs have Kyrie Irving, but that's it."
If we're talking straight superstars, then yes, Irving is the only current one on the Cavs.
If it's talent we're talking about, then there's a lot more on the Cavs' table than just Irving.
Anderson Varejao was the NBA's best rebounder this season at 14.4 boards per game. The next closest is Dwight Howard, with just 12.3 a contest. Varejao is still just 30 years old and should have plenty of good basketball left should he be able to stay healthy.
The Cavs are also stacked with young talent.
Tristan Thompson is an athletic, young power forward who is a double-double threat every single night. For the season, he's averaging 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Dion Waiters is Irving's running mate in the backcourt and has improved every month this season. Just a rookie, Waiters is averaging 14.7 points and 3.2 assists per game.
The Cavs also have nice young players in Tyler Zeller, Alonzo Gee, Marreese Speights and C.J. Miles that they can build around moving forward.
Fallacy No. 2: "Dan Gilbert is an incompetent owner."
Most casual fans know exactly two things about Dan Gilbert.
One, that he owns the Cavaliers.
For those of us living in the Midwest, we know that Mr. Gilbert is an extremely intelligent businessman who has done a great job as owner of the Cavs.
A graduate of Michigan State and Wright State University Law School, Gilbert not only owns the Cavaliers, but the Lake Erie Monsters, Cleveland Gladiators and Canton Charge as well.
He helped bring the Horseshoe Casino to Cleveland, and along with Quicken Loans has created thousands of jobs in Northeast Ohio.
He's very comfortable spending money if it will help the team win, something we've rarely seen from Cleveland team owner's in the past decade.
Gilbert made a mistake by writing the letter, one that he's admitted to, and has since remained out of the spotlight, letting general manager Chris Grant and head coach Byron Scott handle all the basketball business.
Gilbert really is a great owner to have, despite what the public may think of him.
Fallacy No. 3: "Cleveland isn't over LeBron."
Yes it's easy to associate LeBron with the Cavs given the seven seasons he spent here, but to say Cleveland isn't over James just isn't true.
In fact, I think it's safe to say most were over his leaving the day the Cavs beat the Boston Celtics on opening night in 2010. That game signified a new era in Cavs basketball, one that would shortly be dominated by Kyrie Irving.
While there's chatter of a LeBron-Cleveland reunion in 2014, this is all completely speculation at this point. I feel I speak for many Cavs fans when I say "no thank you" to a potential signing of James. He's a tremendous player, no doubt, but this current group of Cavs coupled with another good draft should lay the framework for a perennial championship contender. James would make the Cavs instantly better, but I like the path they're on in their rebuilding process just fine without him.
Look, when LeBron left, buildings didn't collapse, the sky didn't fall and the Cavaliers are still a very profitable basketball team.
Cleveland and James went their separate ways, and that's just fine with us.
Fallacy No. 4: "The Cavs are years away from contending."
At 21-45 and in last place in the Central Division, the Cavs aren't exactly lighting up the league this season.
Don't let their record fool you when it comes to discussing their future, however.
In January, the Cavs were a respectable 6-8 and followed that up with an even better 7-5 record in February. They have wins this season over the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.
Their team winning percentage has increased for the third straight season, as has their offensive rating, according to basketball-reference.com.
Perhaps the greatest sign the Cavs are close to a major turnaround is their comparison to the Oklahoma City Thunder of a few years back.
In 2008-09, the Thunder went a dismal 23-59 but had a budding star in Kevin Durant to build around.
The next season, OKC took off. They finished 50-32, a remarkable 27-game turnaround from the year before.
If the Thunder can do it, why not the Cavs?
Cleveland has its star to build around, and will get even more help in this year's draft with four picks likely to all fall in the first 36 overall selections.
The Cavs also boast an impressive amount of cap space and will see Varejao return, bolstering their rebounding and inside scoring.
For those who haven't paid much attention to the Cavs the past three years, it's time to wake up.
This is a team loaded with young talent, draft picks and cap space that can explode into contention at any time. The third-youngest team in the NBA, Cleveland should quickly become one of the most exciting teams in the league to watch headlined by Waiters, Thompson, Varejao and Irving.
We have a great owner, help for Kyrie, a bright future and are completely over an ex player leaving.
Next season will be an attention grabber for those who have slept on the Cavs, and should mark the beginning of a long and successful run in the NBA playoffs.
Being a Cavs fan isn't always easy, but no one said it wouldn't be worth it.
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