I know this will never catch on but it irks me to no one to hear or see comments like this one (on a piece about Byron Scott):
Cavs – Last year with Lebron: 61-21
Cavs – This year without Lebron: 8-45
Lebron taking his talents to South Beach? NO BRAINER!
I don’t want to be nutpicking but shit like this comes up all the time during casual conversations about the Cavs (including casual on-air conversations). People act that the only difference between this year’s team and a last season’s is the lack of one LeBron James.
While LeBron was the biggest departure, he wasn’t the only significant one.
Here’s the list of players who played in Game 6 of last year’s Boston series:
Starters: Antawn Jamison, LeBron James, Shaq, Mo Williams & Anthony Parker
Bench: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamario Moon & Delonte West (J.J. Hickson received less than 1 min).
Now here’s a list of players who played in Wednesday’s game against the Pistons:
Starters: Antawn Jamison, Christian Eyenga, J.J. Hickson, Ramon Sessions & Anthony Parker
Bench: Jamario Moon, Daniel Gibson, Ryan Hollins & Manny Harris.
Just a wee bit different, no? Yes, LeBron left but so did Z, Shaq and West (all of whom currently play for contenders. Interesting, eh?). Also, Mo Williams played in just 10 of the 26 games in the streak while Andy only appeared in 5.
So, of the eight players that recieved meaningful minutes in Game 6, only three have been heavily involved in the record breaking streak (and those three are Antawn Jamison, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker. Ugh).
Not saying that a healthy Varejao and Williams (who returns tonight against the Clippers) would make this team good or even respectable (I mean, they were both healthy during the 10 game losing streak that preceeded this debacle) but the Cavs wouldn’t be historically bad, just ya know, normal bad. Worst team in the league? Maybe. Worst team ever? Doubtful. Few teams can overcome losing the two starters but this particular squad had no room for injuries or mishaps.
In the end it doesn’t matter, because no amount of complaining will overcome the conventional wisdom of “LeBron left, therefor the Cavs suck and all their success was due to him. The end.”