Cleveland Cavaliers, Revised: No Longer ‘LeBron James and Everyone Else’

March 31st, 2010 by Tom Delamater Leave a reply »
You could have made a case in 2007. Many insist it was still the case in 2009.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were nothing but LeBron James, and everybody else.

Some people aren’t even that kind. To them, it’s more like, “LeBron James and a bunch of stiffs.”

Nothing like giving credit where credit is due.

Granted, the Cavaliers of 2007 weren’t exactly a who’s who of basketball talent. Despite making it to the NBA Finals, they fielded a rather dubious unit around James.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, solid but slowing down at center, was joined by Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, and Eric Snow in the starting lineup. Sasha Pavlovic was the first man off of a bench that boasted such luminaries as Damon Jones and Ira Newble.

They got to the Finals, however—something 28 other teams didn’t do. Even so, it wouldn’t have happened without James.

After a sweep at the hands of San Antonio, Danny Ferry retooled the Cavs, then retooled them again. By 2008-09, they led the league in wins. They roared through the playoffs until they encountered an Orlando Magic team that stretched th ...

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