Who's ready for the 2009 NBA Finals??!?!?!?!
I'm not, but I'm going to warm up to it. I promise.
As is customary for when a playoff participant takes their exodus to the golf course, Caribbean island, or any other customary off-season rituals, we have to figure out how can we fix them. Make them better.
The Nuggets and The Cavaliers. Whew....let's have some fun.
In order of exodus:
The Denver Nuggets - Overachievement would be a major understatement. This Nuggets team reminded some folks (ok probably just me) of the same grit and determination that last year's Celtics team possessed. Hungry, energized, and looking to take any advantage they could on their opponent. What was the problem? Poise.
They had about 4%. Which is about 40% more than they had pre-Chauncey Billups. I think Denver's GM (Kiki Vandeweghe) is going to have to make a decision for the ages, revamp pieces of the roster and make his team smarter and wiser, or go the complete opposite and go for the goon strategy and put nothing but crazies on the team. LOL, you know how I feel, why not JUST GO CRAZY!!
Ok, here's the real issue. They don't have poise, and the reason they don't is that besides Carmelo no one can get easy points. They are lacking two pieces that could turn them from very good to great.
#1. A strong perimeter defender. Sorry, Dahntay Jones and JR Smith ain't cutting it. When Chauncey is your best perimeter defender and is having to try and check Kobe that isn't the best option. Your wearing out your point guard on both ends. However, I do believe there are some decent options that could work for Denver's offense. Go get
#2. A post presence. This is beginning to become a constant theme for these Fix A Team articles. However, when you have Kenyon Martin doing 12-foot runners because he doesn't have a post move is a problem. This would make me nervous as a teammate, coach, GM, or fan of Denver. No one that can try to get an easy bucket inside of 10 feet? Putting Carmelo more in the post would help, why is he always trying to shoot 20 footers? Kobe is killing everyone in the league from that respect, he goes right to the elbow and operates from there. Carmelo (AND LEBRON) you could learn from him. If you could pick up someone, getting a player like.....Rasheed? Ummmm...yeah, there's not much selection. LOL...I personally think Denver getting Rasheed would be the rawest move ever. Could you imagine Rasheed, Kenyon, Melo, Chauncey, and JR? It'd be a brawl WITH EACH OTHER in 38 seconds. I think they should do it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers - First off, before I address how to fix them, let me speak up for LeBron one second.
How quick are you all looking crucify the man? For not shaking hands with the opposing squad? Get over it. The man put up one of the most ridiculous stat lines in NBA history against a team that was supremely setup to take out his Cavalier team. His teammates did nothing to help him, he's the league's biggest star and the face of a city, team, league, and even culture to some extent. His vision goes a bit beyond what's important to us. Look, I'm not trying to make the man a martyr or anything, but what has he done wrong, ever? Rode a hummer someone gave to him and got some throwback jerseys when he was 17? I'll admit it would've been better for him to shake hands. That would've been the right thing to do, but WHO CARES?!? If anything you Magic fans should be upset that they are talking more about some handshakes than your personal victory. Dude is salty he lost, mad about the situation, and wants to go home and get away from it all. Hell, you all do this when you don't pick up no ass in the club. You do it when you don't get your burger with no pickles from McDonald's. Hell, you women do it when someone leaves the seat up.
Get over it, he didn't set a bad example for little kids. If LeBron don't have to shake hands then I don't have to. If you are around the little kid, shake him real hard and tell him to shake hands!!! Unless he becomes worth one billion dollars, then he can do otherwise. Ok I'm done.
#1. Get some athletic big men - This isn't really that hard for them to do. LeBron needs to be throwing some alley-oops to his teammates every once in awhile. Unfortunately, Zydrunas Ilgauskas's legs might explode and Sideshow Bob Varejao might trip over himself trying to complete such act. I'm hearing rumors that N.O.'s Tyson Chander could be available, and he would fit in real nice with LeBron and Co.
#2. Get someone athletic swingmen - Ok, I really like Mo Williams and Delonte West, but they are both roughly 6'3". Boobie Gibson is 6'3". Notice a trend? No one can come off the bench and play defense on a wing player except LeBron. LeBRON IS TIRED! YOU HEAR ME? MIKE BROWN? I'M TALKING TO YOU! Little known fact, Cleveland tried to sign Mikael Pietrus in the off-season and couldn't sign him due to not guaranteeing him a chance to start. Orlando could, and he paid major dividends on both ends of the floor for the Magic. James Jones, Jamario Moon, and Matt Barnes would all be great fits for this Cleveland team.
AM I NUTS? I APOLOGIZE FOR GOING OFF ON A RANT, IT HAPPENS? HOW WOULD YOU FIX DENVER AND CLEVELAND?