LeBron will never win another championship with the Cavaliers.
And it’s not his fault. The league has progressed past the Iverson and LeBron led teams.
You can no longer succeed in this league with just one superstar.
It’s hard to succeed with two or even three stars on a team.
Take this Pacers and Cavaliers series for example.
LeBron is without a doubt the best player on the court. But why aren’t the Cavs winning? Having a superstar is enough right?
No. LeBron has to play 46 minutes for the Cavs to stay competitive.
Look at the Pacers. Their only star is Victor Oladipo. The Cavs have actively limited him the since the first game. But they still win.
The league is moving past just talent. That isn’t enough in today’s league. It’s all about coaching and systems. Team ball.
LeBron is balling. But Lue sucks.
Look at the playbook. It’s give LeBron the ball so he can score and kick it out for someone else to shoot. This would’ve worked 10 years ago. But now it doesn’t.
Look at the Pacers schemes. The gameplan isn’t just give the ball to Oladipo. They play everyone to their strengths.
The Cavs don’t do that. Yes, Korver and J.R. are made for the catch and shoot. But what about everyone else? They get limited to catching and shooting.
Look at Kevin Love for example. Yeah, he’s good with the catch and shoot. But he has so much more to his game than just shooting. In Minnesota, he dominated the paint. He was down low getting the job done on offense and defense. Dunks, lay ups, fade aways, hooks, eating up the boards, just a straight up beast down low. But Lue doesn’t utilize those skills at all. He just has him stand on the arc or in the corner.
Jordan Clarkson brings a lot offensively. He takes in to the rack, mid range pull ups, he can facilitate. But once he joined the Cavs. He just catches and shoots.
Rodney Hood is a slasher. But he just catches and shoots.
Also, the team is late to rotate on defense. They’re more concerned with arguing with the refs about fouls than transitioning on defense. I seen it a couple times this series. Bad habits have piled up over the season.
All the blame goes on bad scheming and poor coaching.
The Cavs are the more talented team. But the Pacers are winning due to better coaching, better scheming and better chemistry.
This is the direction the league is heading.
The Spurs have lead the way. Gregg Popovich took a lottery pick team to the playoffs. Aldridge is the only star. Great coaching and great scheming lead to victories.
Look at the Thunder and Jazz series. That’s a battle between talent and schemes. It’s 1 on 1 ball vs team play. The Thunder have a big four in Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams. 4 stars. The Jazz have Mitchell and Gobert as their stars. But the big difference is team play.
Yeah, talent will win sometimes like game 1 when the Thunder’s stars got hot. But game 2, the Thunder had no chance when their stars got cold, especially in the 4th. Unless if Westbrook, George and Anthony score consistently and efficiently. The Jazz will win the series. Mitchell can have a bad game shooting, but the Jazz will still be competitive.
Look at the top teams in the playoffs. The Rockets, Warriors, 76ers, Pelicans.
They all have the star power as well as the solid coaching.
Talent alone just doesn’t get it done anymore. This is by far the most talented era of basketball we’ve ever seen. Top players are either absolutely dominant in 2 or 3 aspects of the game such as DeAndre Jordan or they’re versatile and play every aspect of the game at a high level such as Anthony Davis. Even bench players tend to have some sort of versatility.
Back in the days only a few players rivaled Reggie Miller. Now, just about every player can knock down threes and a good amount do so consistently.
The game isn’t about talent anymore. It’s about coaches maximizing that talent.
I doubt you’ll see another finals like 2016. Even then, look at what LeBron and Kyrie had to do to win. 40-plus points, Lebron had to get triple doubles. While the Warriors just cruised on the system Steve Kerr created. Then the next year they added Kevin Durant which made them unstoppable. Nothing LeBron and Kyrie alone could do.
It’s a new age in basketball.
Look at the Celtics. No Hayward, no Irving. But they’re still a top team in the east. Yes, they have depth. But Brad Stevens is a great coach. He creates a scheme the caters towards the strengths.
You can’t will a team to success anymore.
James Harden and Chris Paul can both have a bad game, and still be able to beat the Timberwolves.
In 5 years. The game will be focus on team ball. Hero ball doesn’t work anymore. You can’t be the hero 82 games all the way to the finals. Coaches like Brad Stevens and Alvin Gentry will pick apart your hero’s weaknesses. Teams did it to a Westbrook led Thunder last year.
Let me know what your opinions are below.