Chicago -- I will be spending this weekend writing about what is wrong with the Cavs and what must be done to fix them. So I don't want to let too much of my thunder go here. However, following the fifth straight loss to the Kings, I think it is time for some hard realities to be addressed.
Things that are true
--LeBron James is tired, I don't care what he says. It is why he's been falling off in the second half all the time.
--Playing LeBron at the point guard is no good, it doesn't work. More on this later, but trust me, it makes him too easy to defend.
--Nobody ever wants to throw the ball to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, so I wouldn't blame him if he never passed. This is a fundamental failure of how the Cavs play the game, they do not use their second most valuable asset to anywhere near his potential.
--Eric Snow is not the problem, he's an answer. He needs to be playing more because he gets the Cavs into their offense and wants to play defense all the time. Yes, it is 4-on-5 on offense, but the same goes for Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons and they survive just fine.
--For all his talk, Damon Jones is actually very insecure about his ability, which he why he talks about himself so much. You can see it in the way he passes up shots because he's lost faith in himself.
--Flip Murray should never attempt another 3-pointer under any circumstance, but he is a good addition because he can get baskets when the offense isn't working.
--Mike Brown's weakness is offense and no one on his staff seems to be able to offer difference-making help. Only rarely do they make in-game adjustments that actually work. Usually, the offense gets worse as the game goes on, especially after halftime.
Things that are false
--The Cavs are a good defensive team. They aren't. Brown has a good scheme but doesn't have the players to make it work. They are slightly better than at the start of the season, but all-in-all, they are in the bottom third of the league.
--The Cavs will miss the playoffs. They'll make it, but it will be a fight to avoid the seventh or eighth spots the way things are going now.
--LeBron or Z are to blame for the struggles. The role players have been letting this team down all season. Starting with the inconsistency of Donyell Marshall and Jones, who are having bad seasons compared to their contracts and recent numbers.
--LeBron needs to score 30 points for the Cavs to win. No, he needs to average about 25 and Z needs to average about 20.
--The missed free throws are big problem. It's not good, but it isn't making much of a difference and overall LeBron has been shooting them at near his average for his career. There are so many bigger and more important issues.
--The Cavs are an above .500 team. Maybe their record says it, but they aren't. Without Larry Hughes, they are simply average at best. In fact, they're 14-16 without him. They'll probably do well to be .500 for the rest of the season.