Don’t worry if the Cavs are only 1-2 with Antawn Jamison in the lineup. They also had a slow start with Shaquille O’Neal joining the team last summer. It will take a little time for Jamison to be fully integrated into Cleveland’s system. The real key to Cleveland’s success obviously is still LeBron James.
With James’ impending free agency this summer, Cavs’ GM Danny Ferry is doing everything he can to surround James with quality teammates. Ferry is hoping that all the changes he made before the trade deadline is enough to entice James to return. It is tempting for James to sign with the Knicks since New York has enough cash to sign two top free agents. If James signs with the Knicks, he can be joined by the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire.
What I’m trying to say is that Ferry did an excellent job surrounding James with talent and all the tools needed to challenge the Los Angeles Lakers for the title this year. James can do whatever he wants to do this summer; sign with the Knicks, play for the Cleveland Browns or box Floyd Mayweather Jr. Whatever he decides to do this summer, we could care any less – the important thing is he needs to win now. James is probably the only person in history dubbed “King” without actually being at the top of his profession. A King without a ring as I like to say.
Just as Tracy McGrady famously declared before the Rockets playoff series against the Jazz in 2007 – “It’s on me” – James has to declare the same. If the Cavs don’t win this year, it’s the fault of the so-called “King” of the NBA.
The Cavaliers fell short against the Magic last year because they could not contain superstar center Dwight Howard and could not keep up with the versatility of Hedo Turkoglu. This year, the presence of Shaq will at least keep Howard from scoring easy buckets as he did last year. Turkoglu’s departure makes the Magic predictable, especially with replacement Vince Carter filling it up for the Turkish player.
The Celtics don’t have what it takes to prevent Cleveland from reaching the finals. Boston is old and riddled with injuries. The return of Kevin Garnett was supposed to return the Celtics to old form but instead has turned Boston into the old and slow Celtics. Garnett’s defense was key for their championship in 2008, but with this year’s regression the Celtics are vulnerable. James and the Cavs already pushed them to seven games in 2008 – expect Cleveland to sweep the Celtics if they meet in the playoffs.
The point is simple – the Eastern conference is wide open for James to finally justify his moniker as the King. This is Cleveland’s year and it could easily be LeBron James’ coronation.