Change of Pace; A Must for Cavaliers


The Cleveland Cavaliers have played at one of the slowest paces in the league over the past two seasons but it is time for that to change.

The Cavaliers have been the favorite in the Eastern Conference since LeBron James decided he was “coming home,” in 2014.

Everyone expects the 2015 Eastern Conference Champions to repeat and return to the NBA Finals come June. No matter how many times they’ve lost to the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs, no one questions that Cleveland will be victorious against any Eastern Conference opponents come playoff time.

The time finally came though. After firing head coach, David Blatt, and replacing him with Tyronn Lue, Cleveland seemed to fix all problems with a single person. They admitted that they had problems and figured that Blatt was the problem.

It wasn’t. At least not all of it.

The Warriors and the Spurs are obviously the favorites to win and meet Cleveland in the NBA Finals, so beating them should be one of the Cavs’ top priorities. However, before they can possibly play the Warriors or Spurs in the Finals, they’re going to need to beat their Eastern Conference enemies first.

The first step is to beat their favorite Eastern Conference runner-up, the Chicago Bulls. But once again, the Cavaliers disappointed hopefuls dropping their 12th loss of the season, 96-83.

Yet another loss for the Cavaliers made something extremely apparent. The Cavaliers cannot play up-tempo basketball. That’s a serious problem considering most of the NBA relies on an up-tempo style of play, using small formations and running the floor as quick as possible. Cleveland hasn’t tried to play small ball. They’re determined to stick with classic styled basketball, using big men and slowing the game down. Their most significant problem with this is that they don’t seem to have a player who can control the floor the way they’d like to. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have incredible ball skills and both can control a team. Unfortunately, they need to be able to score while someone else controls the floor. The Cavaliers don’t have that player though.

The team is filled with a bunch of players who are some of the best at their aspect of basketball. Whether it’s Iman Shumpert, perfecting the athleticism or Irving emerging as one of the best offensive threats in the NBA, the Cavaliers have players who fit most aspects of basketball perfectly. What they’re missing though, is a floor general. If their plan is to continue to play slow basketball, then working with a shooting guard and a small forward at point isn’t going to lead to much success.

Players like Tony Parker and Chris Paul are players capable of controlling a game to the tempo they want it to be at. But even these players, the classic point guards of the NBA, run a quicker pace than the Cavaliers do. LeBron James said it best, “We got to get in better shape.”

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It’s the truth, and new head coach, Lue, has the right idea. “The vision I have for this team is to play faster,” Coach Lue said. “We have to utilize Kyrie and LeBron’s one-on-one ability.”

Maybe Lue can be a good change. Up-tempo basketball is more the present than it is the future. Slow basketball has gotten Cleveland to this point. A point where they are unable to beat top quality teams in the NBA. Most people have finally noticed that it’s time for things to change, and changing the pace of their game is their first priority.

There’s plenty of season left. No one can predict the future, especially in January. Two days ago though, Cleveland’s chances to bring a trophy home in June were slim. If Lue’s plan actually happens, those chances become much higher going forward.