Onto the next, but first….

Now that we have the Miami game behind us it’s onto the next, thankfully.  I’m sure nobody in our Cavs locker room or front office is sad to see that media circus leave town.  Much like how a Miami Hurricane would explode through and stir up all of the things that were starting to settle at the bottom of the ocean, Lebron and his revelations did the same this week in Cleveland.  Almost as if he didn’t want to see his ex dating someone else.  Frankly, I tried to sidestep the whole issue entirely as it doesn’t matter for another 2 offseasons.  There’s also the issue that the topic stirs up so much that I couldn’t figure a way to condense into any sane and logical piece of writing.  So the short version goes like this.  We’ve learned this year that being the villain effected Lebron and his ability to play.  We’ve also learned that Cleveland’s reaction troubled him much more than any of us knew.  My take is that this guy, whose most massive of failures can all be attributed to the mental side of the game, needed this to clear his head.  He hates that we hate him, and to be honest, I think what he did eased that hate more than what sports talk radio would indicate.  The smattering of cheers at the Q would back that up as well.  To use myself as an example, I think I’ve been longing to hear something just like this.  That what he did troubles him.  That he has regret.  Now I’ll never root for him again, unless he dons the Wine and Gold again one day, but that’s an issue for 2014.  For now I think I’m just glad that’s over.  I’ll know exactly how I feel about him and how “over it” I am when met with the raw emotions of watching him play in June with a chance at his first ring.

Now as I said it’s onto the Sacramento Kings.  In a way this game fascinates me.  As much as a pair of eventual lottery teams could anyway.  First, I want to see if our young Cavs punch back.  They were absolutely taken apart by Miami and had their manhood questioned by their coach publicly.  I’m expecting to see premium effort early against the Kings.  Kyrie had his 2nd straight subpar game against the Heat and I want to see a fire in him early as well.  That’s usually a good tell of the upside of a young player.  Great players with that Jordan/Kobe mentality get pissed and look to get even as soon as they can.  My guess is we see Kyrie in attack mode by 6:05.

Second, the matchup of the two teams gives us a chance to watch something we hope not to see.  The Cavs have 11 wins and the Kings have 10 but they are in different stratospheres when it comes to where they are in their respective rebuilding processes.  The Kings are exactly what we pray not to see 5 years from now. They’ve already been through their talent reloading phase.  Bad news for them that they’ve had 5 straight lottery picks, including two in the top 5, and a 6th is looking inevitable.  Here’s a list of the last 5 years:

2007 – Spencer Hawes, 10th overall
2008 – Jason Thompson, 12th overall
2009 – Tyreke Evans, 4th overall
2010 – Demarcus Cousins, 5th overall
2011 – Jimmer Fredette, 10th overall via trade

Basically they’ve sucked for 5 years, drafted high, and undoubtedly added some talent but they’ve wound up with a jumbled mess of pieces that don’t fit together. They have poor chemistry and a climate that promotes firing a coach for disciplining a good young malcontent that apparently most of the roster can’t stand.  Not good. This should be a lesson to the Cavs and their fans that losing and getting high picks certainly improves your odds of getting talented players but doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be able to build a winning team.  These two teams are below average.  One on an overall lack of talent and depth and the other based on an overall lack of team chemistry and the correct moving parts.  The Cavs give the sense that they’ve hit their bottom and are floating back up.  The Kings just seem to be stuck at the bottom.  See Cavs fans there are worse things than hovering around the middle.  

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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