The Big Bron Theory And Musings From The Conference Finals
Before I wow you with my hypothesis on how the Cavaliers can theoretically win the NBA Championship from Golden State I’d like to share a few thoughts on the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Lets start with the Western Conference Finals:
- If you thought Chris Paul wasn’t a Hall Of Fame type player then the second half of Games Five, Six, and Seven should dispel that thought process. When they had him in Game Five for the second half they won. When they didn’t for Games Six and Seven they blew double-digit leads.
- Who told Trevor Ariza he was a three-point specialist? I don’t know Trev but personally after my fourth wide open missed shot, let alone my ninth, I would have taken a look at moving up or driving to the basket. Analytics be damned.
- Kevin Durant is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. You don’t have to get into his head when you’re playing against him, he does a good job of that all by himself.
- James Harden needs to do better. James, your repertoire of shooting three’s or driving to the basket to get foul calls ain’t cutting it. Develop a midrange shot or learn some post up moves my man.
Now the Eastern Conference Finals:
- I am completely perplexed by the “Al Horford is the nexus for next years Boston Celtics team.” Horford is a good player, a solid C player. Listen, he was horrible in Game Six against the Cavaliers and in Game Seven where the hyperbolic announcers were telling us he was “Straight up ballin’ out!” he ended up with 17 points 4 rebounds and 3 assists and disappeared in the fourth quarter. In the last three games against Cleveland he averaged 13 points 7 rebounds and 4 assists. When exactly was he “Ballin”? Actually, that’s a below average performance so me grading him as a C player is generous.
- I am convinced Kevin Love is made out of gossamer.
- Coach Tyron Lue always looks like someone just asked him a physics question on the sidelines.
- Aron Baynes plays Rugby in New Zealand and in the NBA.
Okay, now that I have that out of my system let’s get down to The Big Bron Theory (Forgive me CBS).
My hypothesis isn’t complicated. It only requires two moves; The first move is to play LeBron James at Shooting Guard and the second is to insert Jeff Green into the Small Forward position vacated by James. That leaves Kevin Love at his natural Power Forward position and Tristan Thompson at Center. J.R. Smith would be the first off the bench thus giving, if Coach Lue is so inclined, an opportunity for LeBron to get some needed rest. Simple right? I am sure some of you are scoffing at the notion of LeBron at shooting guard so let me break it down for you. I’m going to leave Andre Iguodala out of the discussion because at the time of this article he is still listed as day-to-day.
Lets start at the Point where we have George Hill matched up against Stephen Curry. Obviously Curry is arguably the best shooter ever and he has sneaky quick moves to the basket but if there’s one thing he doesn’t do well it is heads up defense. He does get a lot of steals but most of those are from jumping the passing lanes and on transition defense. In other words he gambles and this often puts him out of defensive position. Hill is bigger than Curry and we saw in the Eastern Finals he can take the ball with strength to the basket and I believe he will get by Curry anytime he wants and when the Warriors rotate over on defense a quick couple of passes will lead to an open shot for the Cavaliers. If you don’t believe me you didn’t watch the Western Finals. That’s basically all Houston ran. They just couldn’t hit the open shot, repeatedly. Like NBA playoff record worth of misses.
Now to the crux of The Big Bron Theory (sorry, this is the last time I’ll use that). Move LeBron James from his Small Forward position to Shooting Guard and have J.R. Smith as a sixth man. Klay Thompson would be matched up against James and this is the key to the whole series for Cleveland. Yes, Thompson is a good defender but come on it’s LeBron. When LeBron is on defense against Thompson, a good amount of the time, sets himself up in the corner or on the wing to wait for an outlet pass from the Warriors rotation or pick and roll offense. James would literally be resting every time covering Thompson on the floor. I know what you’re thinking, the Warriors would just switch and have Kevin Durant or Draymond Green defend LeBron. Okay, then Thompson is left guarding Jeff Green or Kevin Love in the low post and that is a match up that considerably favors Cleveland. As for J.R. he is a former Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA so it’s a roll he’s comfortable with and some sort of change-up is needed with him and his shot. Maybe coming off the bench with expectations to be instant offense will be the spark his game needs.
That takes care of the backcourt, lets delve into the frontcourt equation.
I’m just going to go ahead and give the Center position to Tristan Thompson over Kevon Looney. If you think I’m wrong feel free to leave your inaccurate opinion in the comments. I’m putting Kevin Love at his natural Power Forward position and Jeff Green at the Small Forward. This will make it hard to hide Curry on defense like they did against Houston where Curry was defending the offensively challenged P.J. Tucker. Both Green and Love are too good to try to do that. The Power Forward position and the Small Forward positions for Golden Stare are the Schrödinger’s Cat paradox. While ideally Kevin Love would matchup against Draymond Green and the more athletic Jeff Green would matchup against Kevin Durant both Durant and Draymond can become head cases at any point in the game. So while they are both great players in their own ways they are simultaneously careless with the ball and will miss a lot of shots. So if Love can keep Draymond of the offensive boards and Jeff Green can go straight at Durant in the low post on offense there’s a good chance to get them both off their game. The caveat to that is if Durant starts hitting those fifteen foot elbow jumpers consistently his confidence grows exponentially and he’ll start draining buckets from all over the court. Likewise with Draymond, if he starts blocking shots and cranking assists he gets fired up and the rest of the Warriors get fired up. Jeff Green is going to have to play like he did in games six and seven of the Eastern Finals and Kevin Love is going to have to find some level of consistency in his shot to make my math right.
Speaking of math, the last factor of my equation is coaching. The best way to describe the difference between Steve Kerr’s coaching style and Tyron Lues’ is Kerr is coaching trigonometry basketball and Lue is coaching common core math basketball. What I mean by that is Kerr coaches on multiple levels and angles and how they relate to one another and Lue, much like common core, I have no idea what he’s doing.
There you have it Ladies and Gentleman, The Big Bron Theory (couldn’t help myself). Do I think if they enact my theory that Cleveland will win? No.
But do I think if my scenarios about Durant and Green were to come true do I think Cleveland will win? Still no.
What I do think is if LeBron gives us just never done before stats and if just a couple of teammates show up every game and we get to a Game 7, then I think Cleveland will win.
Those are some HUGE “Ifs” I know, but isn’t that exactly what the Cavaliers have been doing?
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