Cavs Might Have Lost Playoff Strength

Matthew WilderContributor IAugust 17, 2010

CLEVELAND - JULY 8:  Selina Rivera writes with chalk on a sidewalk outside a bar before the LeBron James Television Special July 8, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. The two-time Most Valuable Player has the choice of remaining with the Cleveland Cavaliers or signing with a new team. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)
J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Betrayal! This word has been echoed throughout the media ever since the fateful decision was aired on ESPN. LeBron had every right to decide on a different team. However, a lot of fans and experts have criticized LeBron's lack of respect for the city that treated him like royalty. That is until hearts were broken and tears were streaming from the eyes of Cavs fans. It is one thing to make a decision that gives the man a better chance for a championship ring. It is another to rip the heart out of the one city in the United States that seems to have suffered the worst in terms of sports moments and quality of urban life.

Now that "the decision" has come and gone, where do the Cavs stand? Have they lost their playoff luster after the superstar left? The answer is likely yes.

Sure, the Cavs have Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson, Mo Williams and Anthony Parker. Is that really enough? There might be a lot of fans that would very quickly answer no. Chances are they're right. Meanwhile these players are very productive, they are not superstars. Hickson is becoming a very solid player. However, can he ascend to LeBron's level? That is asking way too much. The Cavs may have enough firepower to stay out of the cellar of the Central Division, but they don't seem like a tangible playoff threat anymore. With all the big time free agents signing contracts elsewhere, the Cavs have to wait 5-7 years to even think about acquiring a superstar.

N.B.A. fans in general may also be quick to point out that during the recent era of the Detroit Pistons dominance, they had no superstars whatsoever. Thing is they had a powerful, very united team. These players were used to playing with each other for a very long time. That can't be said for the Cavs. Some of the players have played with each other for a long time, but many have not.

This could be a long, depressing season for Cavs fans. They don't deserve it after all the headaches Cleveland has been through, but they're in for a migraine.