#Cavs Are Now Building Toward Playoffs – Remember Early January?

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We are now nearing the end of March and the uncontrollable din that accompanies the Cleveland Cavaliers is still punishing the ears. But when we look at where we all were in early January compared to where we are now, there is a Grand Canyon worth of difference. There were many, and I mean many, who were calling for David Blatt’s head and trying to read any eye movement or body language as a reason why LeBron was trying to sink his coach. Of course, none of this was really happening, but that was the perception in the blogs and by the media. Now I am not saying there wasn’t some tension when the team was losing, but it was never as polarized as the media and twitter portrayed.

David Griffin, with Dan Gilbert’s support, found a way to transform the team during the season by basically spending every chip he had left to balance the team. While they were still losing but after those trades, I made it clear that the Cavs position was far better than the media or fans portrayed. This was also before LeBron came back from his “hiatus” refreshed and playing hard. I was never of the belief that the coach should or would be fired or that the team would continue to stumble.

The key now, as I said near the end of January, is for the team to remain healthy and enter the playoffs with good momentum. Where they finish and all the other crap surrounding the team is of no consequence once they enter the playoffs. Given the team’s dominance at home, I can certainly see why Blatt would prefer to finish in the second spot in the Eastern Conference. LeBron doesn’t really care. Even though this is EXACTLY what any sensible person would expect, it is being used as yet another example of LeBron disagreeing with his coach.

Coaches are notorious at every level of sport to try and get every edge possible for their team to win. That is what they are paid to do. Since the Cavs have been so solid at home, of course Blatt would like to see his team head into the playoffs with home court advantage as long as possible. So that is completely predictable.

Star players are paid to not be intimidated by the odds put against them. They are programmed to succeed regardless of those odds or averages. So LeBron, being the best player in the game and a five time NBA finals participant, should not care at all about anything but the team playing well. As I said myself, the Cavs are put together in such a way that they are one of the few teams that could win an NBA title from an eighth seed. So, again, LeBron said exactly what you would expect from a star.

Logically then, this is another of a long line of “nonstories” that are inevitable with a team this highly scrutinized. It has now reached a point where I can finally laugh at the hyperbole instead of being disturbed by it. The story of Kevin Love leaving for LA is another predictable nonstory. That doesn’t mean he won’t leave, just that this particular speculation is a nonstory and not based on current reality. Kevin Love currently “plotting” his departure simply makes no sense. He would be undermining his best chance of winning an NBA championship being distracted by such tripe. Once the season ends and the results known, we can return to this story with some substance and reason.

Right now there are only two things I see as relevant to this season (and indirectly to the Cavs future):

  • The health of the team going into the playoffs
  • The health of the team going into the playoffs

I would like to see Kevin Love rediscover his ability to play in the post. But that is dwarfed by the importance of the health of the team.

So lets enjoy the ride down the stretch and hope doctors do not factor into any of the Cavs fortunes. If that happens, they have an excellent chance to bring home Cleveland’s first title in 50 years.