April 14, 2024
  The Cleveland Cavaliers are a great team, and that’s exactly the problem.

Currently, sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 38-14 record, 3.0 games ahead of the surging Toronto Raptors, thing are, as Larry David would say, pretty, pretty, pre-tty good.

Except in this instance, LD would be wrong. There’s no trophy for winning the conference or even making it to the NBA Finals. It’s winning it all that matters most. Unfortunately, the Golden State Warriors and a few other potential Western Conference opponents stand in the way of championship glory.

I don’t like Kevin Love very much anymore, to the chagrin of some of my colleagues here at CST. Here’s a good player, which is why I wanted to trade Andrew Wiggings for him in the summer of 2014 after LeBron came back. However, it’s defense that wins championships. Each game, Love gets exposed for his poor play on that side of the floor, which isn’t going to change anytime soon.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves power forward averages a double-double, 15.7 PPG and 10.3 RPG, which is fantastic! If only points and rebounding determined every game, defense aside…Love’s stat sheet doesn’t tell the true tale of defense, but video evidence proves that it’s not there.

On Friday night, a surprising rumor surfaced by multiple credible sources. It’s a trade that would involve sending Kevin Love to Boston, Timofey Mozgov (and draft picks) to New York and Carmelo Anthony here to Cleveland. What a blockbuster deal!

Note: Melo’s contract doesn’t expire until 2019.

Instantly, one might say: “Well, Zach. You don’t like K Love for his terrible defense, but Melo doesn’t play defense either. Why the exception? Why the total hypocrisy from what you just got done saying?!”

Unlike the politicians we’ve watched recently, I am going to directly answer that question.

The different between these two is that Melo actually makes up for it offensively. Love is shooting 41% from the floor on open looks that he rarely has to create on his own. Melo only shoots a bit better, 43%, but it’s on shots he has to create on a bad team with little help around him not named Porzingas. In Cleveland, Melo’s numbers would certainly become more efficient whereas K Love is stuck in the 15-16 point range, making only 5.3 of 12.7 shots a night.

Another reason is that Melo is more athletic, playing the SG/SF compared to Love who plays the four. Last year in the Finals, most would suggest the Love being out was a disadvantage. However, him being sidelined opened up the door for Tristan Thompson to see an increase in minutes. TT’s defense is a huge reason why the Cavs were able to at least hang with the Warriors. Compare that to the most recent contest against the Warriors, and you see the obvious difference.

Finally, let’s talk about Love’s relationship with LeBron. Are they civil? Yes. Do they like each other? Probably not. After all, he’s in none of the postgame “swag pics.” On the other hand, we know for sure that LeBron and Melo are bros. He’s talked about their positive friendship multiple times. That chemistry helps on the floor.

My “test” with NBA players is: Can you throw them the ball and say “score” and actually see them do it consistently. Melo passes the exam, but K Love doesn’t.

The new big three of LeBron, Melo and Kyrie Irving would take some time to gel. It’s worth the wait. Looking to the future, there’s no way that this current Cavs team will beat the Warriors. Yes, it’s a safe move to keep the team as it is, but come June, it’ll just result in another loss in the Finals.

Imagine a fast break with those three together. It’d be like literally bringing the Eastern Conference All-Star team to the Cavs!

But, buyer beware:

Melo would have to become less of a volume shooter and more of a team player. His bad attitude would likely go away with playing on a championship-caliber team, just like his buddy JR Smith. I have total confidence that LeBron would drill it into Melo’s mind from the start: We play as a team, so get with the program.

Here’s another question to ponder:

Would you rather send K Love to the Celtics and have to face them in the playoffs with Melo on our side, or watch as Melo gets traded to either Boston and Miami and challenges the Cavs in the postseason, possibly eliminating us early?

I take Melo. GM David Griffin must stay ahead of the rest of the conference, which the Cavs are so blessed to be a part of because it’s been so much worse than the West for the longest time. Let’s not ruin that by standing still.

In summation, the Cavaliers can sit back and enjoy the All-Star break, watching everyone around them get better. They can make a cute lil’ trade to acquire a savvy veteran, giving false hope that the player will push us over the top. Or, the team can make a huge splash, taking control of their own destiny with a trade for Carmelo Anthony, galvanizing the squad for a championship run.

While it’s somewhat unlikely, you’d be foolish not to want this trade to happen. Unless, you’re OK with losing…

Pics via ESPN.com, hoopshype.com

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com