And the excuses are coming in 3…2…1… After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, there has been a lot of finger-pointing going on within the Cavs organization. Just by watching the games, there’s no question that the Celtics have just been a team that has shown a lot more mental toughness than the Cavs who seem to roll their eyes when every little thing goes. Of course, LeBron’s egg in the media, Brian Windhorst, had to write a column on some of the ineptitude the Cavs were dealing with.
According to Windhorst, the Cavs may be dealing with organizational fatigue:
“The Cavs aren’t just battling the ascendant Celtics, they are battling an enemy that has dogged LeBron James teams in the past: It’s organizational fatigue, and it’s very real.”
“Like the Miami Heat before them and to a certain extent the last generation’s Cavs, it seems to be a side effect of having James: where the quest for championships combined with a lack of security over keeping James leads to some win-now, pay-later decisions.”
“But no matter how this conference finals plays out, it doesn’t change the organizational fatigue the Cavs are fighting. It’s hanging on them like a weight. Combined with their diminished talent from a season ago, it’s making this playoff run feel like a trudge.”
Windhorst could have just said LeBron fatigue but I should have known that term would not be used. In one sense, he is right. LeBron makes terrible decisions when it comes to building a team. It’s realistically cost him 3-4 championships because he has zero clue how to build a team. He demanded that the franchise had to overpay J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and Tristan Thompson has killed the Cavs cap flexibility.
He also ran Kyrie Irving out of town because he is a horrible teammate who doesn’t elevate others, refuses to play with young players, and runs an elementary offense. When he couldn’t play with the players they received back in the Kyrie deal (Isaiah Thomas & Jae Crowder who seemed to thrive in Boston by the way) he demanded that the team blow up the roster so they could absorb even more bad contracts like George Hill and Jordan Clarkson to the point where small market Cleveland has the highest payroll in the sport.
On the other hand, this is totally a plant by the LeBron camp. Everyone knows that Windhorst is LeBron’s guy in the media. Windhorst essentially has his job because he was a notorious LeBron stalker dating back to his high school playing days. If stories start to surface that LeBron isn’t loved or appreciated by the organization, it gives him an obvious excuse to bolt the franchise despite leaving behind his own mess.
Let’s give Windhorst some credit here though, he also included LeBron’s past history with the Heat. He included Pat Riley’s famous quote about “The Disease Of Me” which is a very real thing that has plagued LeBron his entire life because everyone has done nothing but tell the guy how great he is even when he does something wrong. Towards the end of the Heat run, members of the organization even accused LeBron of ‘Checking Out’ of the 2014 Finals when they got smoked by the Spurs. This series doesn’t feel much different so far with the Cavs showing zero mental toughness from the top down.
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The Eastern Conference Finals aren’t over yet because LeBron and the Cavs go back home for a chance to even up the series. However, if LeBron loses, there are really no excuses considering a lot of people picked the Celtics to lose in the first round of the playoffs. Can you imagine what the headlines will be if LeBron loses to Kyrie in the playoffs while he’s sitting on the bench consulting as an assistant coach of some sorts?