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Is the Cleveland Cavaliers Trade an Example of Chemistry Gone Awry?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 23, 2010

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks over the defense during the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on February 21, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

If a NBA team has never won a championship it's hard to understand the dedication and commitment it takes to reach that level. Just as important as those attributes is an understanding of team chemistry.

Although there was a lot of hype over the trade which brought Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers, was the deal really necessary?

Judging by the immediate after-math of the trade, this is a legitimate question.

Jamison provides the Cavaliers with another offensive option, and is also able to stretch opposing defenses with his perimeter skills, but the Cavaliers have performed worse sinces he's joined the team.

Sometimes the best trade is the one you refuse to make.

Cleveland was riding a 13 game winning streak going into the All-Star break and held a comfortable lead in the Eastern Conference and the NBA. Now, all of that appears to be in jeopardy.

Cavalier fans have to question the reasoning behind the deal. If it was an attempt to get better, how much better do you really need to be than the No. 1 seed?

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Followers of the Cavaliers have spent much of the season trying to persuade any who would listen that this team is much different from the one which folded in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

With a 13 game win streak, the Cavaliers got my attention as definite contenders. But, three consecutive losses later, Cleveland is hardly striking fear into the hearts of opponents the way they did when throwing twin seven footers in the line-up. The Cavaliers currently look much like last year's team.

The Cavaliers, in their rush to contend for a championship,  seem to have over-looked that most basic principle of "if its not broke, then don't fix it."

The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, and Denver Nuggets are all contenders for the title and none of them felt the need to rush into a deal which may disrupt chemistry.

This was no mere coincidence. The people making the personnel decisions understood the wisdom in continuity and cohesion, but were willing to assume battle with their current rosters anyway.

I have heard Cavalier GM Danny Ferry praised for his decision to pull the trigger, but so far he's shooting blanks, and the other contenders have to be smiling about this trade.

So, what were the real reasons behind the deal?

I haven't heard one Cavalier fan or writer question the prudence of the deal, nor has anyone questioned the need to make a blockbuster trade as the No. 1 seed.

I'm sure Cleveland fans will disagree, but management must have felt deep down in their hearts, that they just weren't good enough in their present state to win a championship, despite their gaudy record.

That insecurity comes from never experiencing a championship and failing to reach that lofty status. Either instance is capable of causing a rush to judgment.

Now it seems the hopes of the Cleveland faithful lie in Zydrunas Ilgauskas returning to the fold.

Making a deal which is not necessitated by injury is a bad move for a championship team. Especially for a team at first place in the NBA riding the coattails of a 13 game win streak.

But of course, in order to know this you have to understand how important chemistry is to the success of your team. Maybe Ferry and his players who called for the deal could learn from teams who have actually won a title before.

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