The Cleveland Cavaliers did not have much to smile about in the previous season, but looking forward, even though a 2011 season seems improbable, the Cavs (and their fans) have more to smile about.
- Kyrie Irving
You can beat this reason over and over again, but no one should be able to label him with anything other than a huge impact rookie player. The point guard position in the league is heavy and extremely competitive most recently and Irving is going to step right into the duties as Cleveland’s starting QB (yes QB), when the season starts. Whenever that may be.
Irving was not drafted with the No.1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to be benched. For now, the Cavaliers also have Baron Davis waiting in the wings to tackle the position, but Irving’s youth, speed, competitive angle and excitement while ultimately trump Davis’ longer professional resume.
A lack of production at the guard position is a primary reason as to why Cleveland was not entirely, if at all, successful last season. Trading away Mo Williams for Davis shook things up a tad, as they went on to beat archenemy Miami Heat, after a humiliating loss to South Beach earlier in the season. But, against players like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, the Cavs would be continuously overlooked at the position.
Irving brings a pizzazz and air of freshness to the franchise and gives hope for the future. Dan Gilbert is rebuilding and he started at the most important spot on the floor with the most promising guard in the draft.
2. The 2010 season is over
The 2010 season is behind Cleveland. Looking forward to the 2011 NBA season should bring a sigh of relief to anyone who was rooting for the Cavaliers to pick themselves up and dust themselves off last season. It was a bit painful to watch a single man, not calculating in Zydrunas Ilguaskas effect on the franchise, destroy the reputation of a team who was reeling from an emotionally-charged free agency fiasco.
But, now the 2011 season could only bring something better than what they had before. There is no way for the Cavs to perform worse than they already have. The veterans on the squad refuse that notion and the rookies are too focused on proving themselves in a franchise with a steadily dwindling amount of notoriety and respect.
3. The JJ Hickson Experiment is Over
For a while fans were waiting to see JJ Hickson emerge as the No. 1 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Throughout Cleveland’s drought Hickson was unreliable. On one night he would go for 20+ showing signs of life and on another, fans would be left questioning why he was even starting.
A feeling of frustration developed within the franchise as front office members as well as the new head coach was forced to watch the young power forward disappear in the middle of games, especially on the boards.
The trade for Omri Casspi cleared out space at the position in order for the team to develop No. 4 draft pick from Texas, originally from Canada, Tristan Thompson. They can focus on priming him to be their starter at the position allowing the squad to immerse themselves into focusing on the future and not attempting to wait for a player to eventually come around.
4. Dan Gilbert refuses to fail
Dan Gilbert is some kind of guy. In my opinion, he is the best kind of guy to run a basketball team in recovery like the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert can take a punch. Not the literal jaw-shattering kind that you see in the hockey rinks.
He can take the disbursement of insults hurled towards his organization and continue to show support and make moves towards a thriving franchise in the future. Through all of the mess that was created after July 2010, Gilbert stood firm in his position with the Cavaliers as the owner and an avid believer in what his players were capable of. He may have believed more in them than they did themselves at one point in the season.
Now, as he shifts his attention towards not only the success of the franchise, but the success of the city as a whole, the Cavaliers should feed off of his intensity. He has an urge to win by any means necessary and if his players carry that mentality into their next season, the heights they could reach have no ceilings.
5. The NBA lockout
The lockout has a lot of repercussions for a lot of people. Those who count on the money from arena jobs to feed their families will suffer as well as the players and the owners a little higher up on the pay scale. However, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving should thank his lucky stars that some type of delay is taking place.
From previous articles, I have introduced readers to Kyrie Irving and his turf toe. It has been reported that Irving’s toe needs a little more time for his toe to be fully-healed. Going into an actual season, and not one being played like one big charity game, Irving may have run into some problems. He probably would have wanted to the season to start on time, but we cannot always get what we want.