Ainosterhaspie wrote:They went to the finals every year LeBron was there the second time. They won a title and but for injury could well have had two. It's unlikely they could have done better if they had tried for some long term vision. Why would you trade competitiveness now for hopefully being competitive in the future?
This is true. They did everything to create a contender the first year James got there, and they couldn’t have asked for anything more. The team was built for the playoffs (Griffin even said this when he was the GM as the older players could rest with days off between every playoff game, so they could play defense the way they couldn’t in the regular season). Look at this playoff SRSs—these are historic type of numbers. Almost little to no chance they exceed this if they “built differently.”Year, GP, Off, Def, SRS
2015, 20, +5.5, -4.1 +8.64
2016, 21, +12.4,-2.9 +14.13
2017, 21, +13.7, +0.4 +12.72
2015: Trade for Shumpert, Mozgov, JR and their defense becomes really good. In the last games James, Kyrie, and Love played together, they were 33-3 with a +13 or so SRS.
They were obliterating teams and were actually playing better than a 67 win Warriors team.
2017: They had the best raw playoffs offense in NBA history but ran into the GOAT team, i.e., a 73 win team that added KD.
Very easily could have been a three peat and then who knows what 2018 looks like. What more could you want? How much better could you “build the team”? James was in his prime you build around that. This is what he did in those playoffs:
2015-2017 Value Over Replacement Player (VORP)
James, 9.3 (These three years worth of VORP alone would put LeBron in the top 20 in NBA history. His last 4 years would place him in the top 8 all time, more than Hakeem’s and Barkley’s and K. Malone’s and Dr. J’s totals; Dirk in his entire playoffs career has a VORP of 8.9; KD’s lifetime VORP is 10.42 for reference)
Love, 1.32015-2017 Win Shares
James, 12 (17.1 if you include 2018; that would be more than David Robinson’s and KG’s and Drexler’s and Moses’s and Jason Kidd’s and Patrick Ewing’s and Paul Pierce’s and Oscar Robertson’s respective career totals
Love, 4.62015-2018 Box Plus Minus
James, +12.4 (81 games; Jordan, the only other player who comes close, from 1991 to 1998 had a BPM of +9.6; from 1991 to 1993 it was +11.3, from 1988 to 1993 it was +12)
Kyrie, +3.5 (52 games)
Love, +.9 (63 games)Estimated Playoff Wins Added
If not for an historic GOAT team built in the Bay Area, Cavs would have won more than one title. As it is, the moves they made created historically good playoff teams led by a player who had historic playoff runs near the end of 99% of players’ usual prime windows.
What else were they supposed to do?