The Nets look to start of 2010 on the right note by playing the Cleveland Cavs. You might have heard of this LeBron guy that got on their roster. Anyway, here to talk about the Cavs, their up-and-down start to the season, and LeBron's possible destinations this summer is John Bena from the SB Nation Cavs blog, Fear the Sword.
NAS: The Cavs didn't exactly come out firing on all cylinders to start the season, but have seemingly settled into a groove, after an impressive win on the road in LA on Christmas and then a controversial win against the Hawks on Wednesday. Is this just a case of a team starting to click or is there something else going on here with the Cavs?
The Cavaliers added a lot of pieces during the summer and time was needed to get them all working in sync. Mike Brown really didn't force the issue during the pre-season, and everyone knows trying to find a way to keep Shaq involved (and interested) can be a challenge. I think there was still a bit of a hangover from the way last season ended as well. I don't think the Delonte West situation should be under-estimated either. West was a huge part of the team and his off-court issues definitely weighed on the team. Even now, the Cavaliers play as Delonte goes - when Delonte is having a 'good' day, the Cavaliers are very tough to beat. Other days - not so much.
I think he is an asset, when the match-ups are favorable. The Cavaliers struggled against the Lakers, Magic and Celtics last season. This year, the Cavs already have road wins over Orlando and LA as well as season sweeps of Phoenix. Shaq has proven that he can effectively defend the paint against the size of Orlando and LA. Sure, there will be nights - like against the Hawks the other night - that Shaq will find himself on the bench for large portions of the 2nd half.
NAS: Do you foresee the Cavs making any acquisitions at the trade deadline that will improve the team?
I think there is a good possibility, because Cleveland will do whatever it takes to win this year. In a perfect world, the Cavs would like a PF that can score - right now Anderson Varejao cannot pull defenses away from the basket. Another SG was in play as well, but if Delonte West can be a consistent option that may not be as big of a deal.
NAS: Toy with my emotions. Do you see any scenario where LeBron leaves the Cavs this summer and comes to the Nets?
Ok, there is a scenario, sure. In my opinion, and I have always felt this way, LeBron's loyalty to his teammates will be too great. Obviously LeBron knows his legacy is going to be tied to winning Championships and right now, and for the foreseeable future, his best chance to win is in Cleveland. The Cavaliers have done a great job to keep themselves financially flexible and Dan Gilbert is one of the most innovative owners in sports - see deal with Chinese investors. LeBron has already proven he doesn;t need New York to be a global icon.
I think James will flirt with the Knicks, Nets, and likely some unknown team that will come out of nowhere, but in the end it will be the comfort of home, along with his teammates, that will have him sign another 3-year deal with the Cavaliers.