During the regular season, the Cavaliers posted the best record in the NBA (66-16). Heading into the playoffs, the Cavs were a heavy favorite to win the Eastern Conference, and they deserved that prediction.
However, the Cavs could not play up to the expectations. They lost to the Orlando Magic in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now there are two questions that need to be answered: Why did the Cavs put up such a poor performance in the Orlando series, and do changes need to be made to avoid another disappointing season?
Why did the Cavaliers put up such a poor performance in the Orlando series? It wasn't LeBron James, obviously. He averaged more than 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the series. Those stats are almost unparalleled in NBA playoff history.
After seeing those stats, and then seeing the outcome of the Orlando series, it can be concluded that LeBron James needs some help.
First, the Cavaliers are poorly coached. Sure, Mike Brown won Coach of the Year, but if you really scrutinize and study the Orlando series, you will realize that the Cavs were clueless.
Coach Brown really let his team down. He did not have an answer to the Magic's three-point shooting, or Dwight Howard's post play. He just sat back and expected his players to keep doing the same thing over and over on defense, in hopes that it might work.
I am not a coach, but Mike Brown should have tried something else on defense. He should have at least attempted a zone, or something that might have thrown off the Magic.
No, instead he wanted to stick to some odd form of double-teaming Dwight Howard. The Cleveland players half-guarded, half-fouled Howard, which resulted in Howard completely taking over.
Coach Brown should have stuck one man on Howard and completely hacked him, even though Howard was making his free throws. Trade Dwight Howard foul shots for wide open threes. It sounds logical to me, but I guess it did not sound logical to Mike Brown.
Secondly, the Cavaliers need a consistent and solid wing-man to assist James.
Mo Williams is supposed to be that guy, but he proved that he cannot be that guy each game. Sure, every player is going to have a down game, but Williams had too many down games. Those down games proved to be costly.
Wally Szczerbiak was also supposed to be a consistent go-to guy. His position on the team is different from Mo Williams', but he was supposed to be the player who you could rely on to hit big shots.
Szczerbiak's play in the series proved that he is not a reliable or even a solid basketball player.
It is apparent that the Cleveland Cavaliers need to make changes. They need something or someone. They need real change. Maybe all they need to do is seek counsel from President Obama.
If President Obama is not available for counsel, then I think the Cavalier's general manager, Danny Ferry, is the next best option. Or, maybe he is not.
A lot of the Cavaliers woes can be blamed on Mr. Ferry. During the regular season, Wally Szczerbiak's (which I stated earlier as being an unreliable and weak basketball player) contract was expiring. Many teams would have taken Wally in a heartbeat in attempt to save money.
The Cavs could have picked up a post man to back up Zydrunas Ilgauskus, or they could have picked up a tall perimeter player.
Instead, Danny Ferry decided to keep the below mediocre Szczerbiak.
All of that is in the past, however. So, what can be done to avoid another disappointing season?
The Cavaliers' front office could sit back and hope for another chance for a title, or they can make changes to guarantee another chance for a title. It is completely up to them.
My guess is that they will make some changes. The Cavaliers need some better players to surround their superstar.
If only minor changes are made, and Cleveland is set up for another disappointing season, then I would not blame LeBron if he declined to re-sign.
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