Now that the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade has been completed, what’s next? Healing. Rehab. Training camp. And everything else to fix as individual players and build chemistry as a team. Whoever ‘comes together’ first, rules.
While the Paul George to OKC and Jimmy Butler to Minnesota were interesting, nothing could be more absorbing than the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas deal. After all, just look at the drama and how long it took to get it done?!
Yet it’s simply because the Cavs are the current champions of the East, Cleveland has won the deal -- short term, at least. For one, they already got a system in place. Like, just give the ball to LeBron and let him decide. Thus, if D-Rose, IT or any new player on the Cavs roster doesn’t know what to do or how things are run -- just give the ball to LeBron and listen to him even during time outs. He’s the man who runs the show.
Now this ‘short term’ thing could only be up to the end of the coming regular season, or at least the first round of the PlayOffs. Sooner or later, understanding your role and being able to really play your game would become a factor. And that’s when D-Rose’s knees, IT’s hips, and everything else come into play. If these guys are physically at it, then the key would be LeBron's substitutes -- Jeff Green, Jae Crowder and Richard Jefferson. Though they could play with LeBron at the same time, the ‘rest time’ they could give him would be crucial. Of course, this should be more than just giving LeBron a breather -- like, they should be able stand their ground while LeBron is on the bench, if not, oh my..
For that reason, it was also why Deron Williams became a nuisance in the recent NBA Finals. Because he was not really able to fill in for Kyrie!
Yes, gone is their electrifying scorer in Isaiah Thomas -- but hey, they actually got better with Kyrie Irving. For one, you can’t teach height. This is a 'big thing' whether in offense or defense -- especially if you are coming off an injury, or as you get older when you'd lose a step or two that you'd then become easier to guard if you're smaller.
On the contrary, Kyrie would be harder to stop because of his height advantage over Thomas. Yes, even if the Cavs put Shumpert on him, why? Unless Thomas hits the bench, IT would then have to guard an even 'taller' player in Hayward, Tatum or Brown. So, see? Pick your poison.
OTHER EASTERN 'CONTENDERS'
Well, we don't really expect much from the Raptors after last season. That was already their chance. They got Ibaka, a budding Powell, a frisky Joseph as well as defensive specialists in Tucker and Carroll. But still, because their said stars are nervous wrecks, they'd really be lucky to make the East Finals this time around.
As for the Wizards, just wondered why they let go of Bogdanovic? And since nothing much has changed, now and more than ever, their fate lies on the consistency of Beal.
The Bucks? They look promising with a vastly improved Antetokounmpo and the rest of their cast, but if Jabari Parker can't stay healthy, they won't go very far unless they somehow involve their 'bigs' a little more.
The dark horse here would be the Miami Heat. If Waiters could grow into a full-fledged star while giving more playing time to Winslow and Tyler Johnson, the Heat could be dangerous with Dragic and Whiteside as their foundations.
Say what you?
Published by Consumer Live