Point Of Origins For Cavaliers, Warriors




VIDEO: Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving waged an intense point guard battle Sunday night

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Random games like Sunday night’s Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers matchup need to come with a disclaimer:

“Objects on the screen might appear to be similar but most certainly are not” 

An overtime game led by potential superstar young point guards that are the keys to their respective rebuilding projects — Stephen Curry for Golden State and Kyrie Irving for Cleveland — was as close as it gets. But there’s a fork in the road dividing these two franchises right now.

The Warriors have won a season-high five straight games (tying last season’s season-high) and finally appear to be back on the track many (myself included) predicted for them before the season began. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have lost five straight and continue a twisted spiral into the Eastern Conference abyss, a voyage fraught with solid decisions gone awry (the Andrew Bynum experiment) and missed opportunities at nearly every stop along the way.

While the Warriors have been mostly praised for all that’s gone well — and rightfully so — the Cavaliers have somehow escaped the discerning eye of many due to what I call the LeBron James Left ‘Em Syndrome.

But how many swings and misses do the Cavaliers get? How long will they be allowed to use that as cover for a failure to get it together on and off the court?

From owner Dan Gilbert and his declaration that the Cavs would win a title before LeBron would in Miami (completely misguided when initially uttered and even more foolish now that the Heat have been to The Finals three straight years and won two titles) to repeated misfires in the Draft (Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett) and coaching hires (Byron Scott and perhaps Mike Brown the second time around … the jury is still out), it’s been one tire fire after another.

At a time when playoff positions from three to eight are wide open in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers’ performance is excruciatingly painful. Not only has there reportedly been friction between Irving and both Waiters and Bynum, now the former Lakers’ and Sixers’ big man has basically been exiled (with pay) by the Cavs until they can either figure out what to do with him or pawn him off on someone else.

The repeated stumbles on the court during their current tailspin only magnify the mistakes made off the court by general manager Chris Grant and his staff. You have to wonder if they are learning from all of these mistakes or not.

“I feel like we’re close,” Brown told the Plain Dealer after the loss to the Warriors. “Obviously, these losses bother our guys, and they bother them in the right way. But we have to stay at it. All these experiences are great for us to go through, you just hope you can come out on the winning end on most of them. I’ve got to give my guys credit because they’re competing. I’ve just got to try to keep helping them at the end of games.”

While the Cavaliers continue to struggle and continue to try to “figure it out,” the Warriors are moving on from early season injuries and transitions for guys like Andre Iguodala, and finally grooving a bit. The work done by the Warriors’ front office, led by the totally understated and completely underrated Bob Myers, has been splendid.

They’ve been aggressive in the Draft, with trades and in free agency. They’ve cashed in with the likes of Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli comprising a core group that should be the envy of rebuilding outfits from coast to coast. They’ve battled through injuries to their stars to continue their ascent.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a risky hire when he was plucked from his analyst seat at ESPN and ABC without any coaching experience, has developed nicely along with his team (eat your heart out, Brooklyn). They’re building something that is more than just a one-time, flash in the playoff pan.

Much of it has to do with Curry, his game and his personality. He’s become a point guard in every sense of the word. When you start there and build properly around a player like that, the process runs much more smoothly.

The Warriors have pulled this off not only by rebuilding a roster, but rebuilding a culture and fueling it with tangible results. It’s a blueprint the Cavaliers would be wise to sneak a peek at as they continue to try to “figure it out.”

12 Comments

  1. Number 13 says:

    The ole’ mistake by the lake. There honestly cannot be a city that is more cursed in professional sports.

  2. okc2014 says:

    The Cavaliers have a long way to go and for the record, so do the GSW’s.

  3. Bobby C says:

    Dion Waiters was not a draft misfire. Have you not seen how much he has improved this year? Don’t let his poor game vs GSW deter you from how much he has developed this season. I’d still take him over Harrison Barnes everyday of the week. The only guy who was drafted after him who i’d take over him would be Andre Drummond (not including Lillard since the Cavs already have a good PG). Waiters is too underrated.

  4. jon1256 says:

    I meant go to the championship.

  5. jon1256 says:

    Ok, first of all its only been 29 games so lets not throw Mike under the bus yet aside from the fact they he’s working with the 2nd youngest team in the league, this is his first yr with them at least wait until the season is close to being over before you criticize him
    .Second, why do ppl keep call Dion and Bennett a bust? Dion is the second leading scorer on the team and he plays pretty good defense. While Bennett hasn’t started off great you have to give the guy time to develop. He was out of shape during training camp and he missed all of pre season. So bottom line is give the guys alil more time before you call him a bust and trade him.. And pappijr while I’ll admit lebron didn’t have alot of help during he’s time in Cleveland but it takes more then one guy to good to the championship. Regardless rather if they got sweep or not

  6. Thomas Young says:

    Hey guys here to say mike brown is not the answer.He was right Lebron did every thing there are some good coaches out there but cavs need more than a coach a whole new front office bring in some vetern players to help out some of these guys they got in the draft are sorry take a look cleavland it is time to step up

  7. Jeff says:

    Let’s be honest, what do the Cav’s have besides Kyrie Irving? NOTHING! They have a handful of average NBA rotation players. Its sad with the # of high picks that they have not been able to develop anything there or at the very least turn one or two of those high picks into a trade for a sidekick for Irving. This is on the GM and depending on how much Gilbert is involved, him too! Thought Lebron may be coming back to an exciting young team? Keep dreaming….gonna be lucky to keep Kyrie!

    • Pakyaw says:

      Kyrie will be in lakers uniform soon..this saying cavs organization is bad., first they let go boozer,then Lebron., then bunch of d- league draft , lastly Bynum…

    • slider821 says:

      doesn’t help that the Cavs org thinks they are too good to even play their first overall pick…not going to develop young players if you keep them at the bench and make them play out of their position when they do get time. Cleveland is just a horribly run organization and despite all of their picks, they will never see success with Dan Gilbert in the FO. Kyrie will leave before they have a chance to draft more superstars to offset the lack of GM/Coach.

  8. Game Time says:

    Sekou don’t be so quick to pat yourself on the back. The Warriors haven’t proved anything in the last five games. They beat two 500 teams an one of those wins has big asterisk.

  9. Pappijr says:

    Did anyone really think Mike Brown was the answer as the Coach without LeBron James? Mike Brown was considered as some kind of Defensive Guru and obviously is not a real genius when it comes to offensive strategy. The fact that LeBron won without a true point guard or astute Coach was really amazing. MIke Brown’s Offense .. “Hey guys, get the ball to LeBron” ….Mike Briown’s Defense .. “Hey guys let Lebron guard their best player and cleanup on the boards Verajo” ..