Developing Young Players – The Best Chance the Cavs Have to Be a Successful NBA Franchise

first_imgThe NBA is unique in the professional sports landscape.Because there are only five players on the floor at any one time, the great player makes a huge difference. We just witnessed the impact Kawhi Leonard, one might be the best player in the league right now, had on the Toronto Raptors, leading them to their first championship.The association also gives the most power to the players. Since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the star players have tried to form “super teams” to help them compete for championships, and team executives have tried to put their franchises into positions to attracts the stars.So, if you didn’t draft a superstar, and you a not a destination for superstars, what do you do?Obviously, in Cleveland, the Cavaliers benefited from James being from Akron and wanting to bring a championship to the area. It helped that Kyrie Irving was already here for James’ return, and they had assets to deal for another star, Kevin Love, who remains with the team.But James left after the 2018 season, so GM Koby Altman has to try to rebuild the organization. He is doing things a little differently, and quite frankly, we have no problem with it.Altman has put his eggs into the player development basket. If you aren’t in a position to draft superstars, then developing them yourself seems to be a good plan.That why he hired a long time successful college coach in John Beilein, and this past week, hired University of California women’s head coach, Lindsay Gottlieb, as an assistant.Beilein’s reputation is putting together very successful college teams without the five star recruits that Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina usually get. He took good high school players and turned them into very good college players, some even became first round picks in the NBA Draft.No doubt, it’s a gamble hiring a 66-year-old who has never coached in the NBA, and hiring a coach who led a Division I women’s program as an assistant. But why not?If you are a team playing someone better than you, and you just rely on talent, you most likely aren’t going to win, right?So, you try something different. Like Cleveland State did when Kevin Mackey became head coach, you full court press for the entire game, using waves of players.That might be your best chance.Or maybe Altman is copying the Raptors blueprint. Not a lot of high draft choices there, but they developed players like Pascal Siakam (27th overall pick from New Mexico State), Fred VanVleet (undrafted), and Norman Powell (second round pick) into contributing players on a title team.We have praised the Cavs for not taking on “knuckleheads”, players who can and will be disruptive when things aren’t going well. In addition, it appears they also have guys who aren’t afraid of working to get better.And that means what Beilein, Gottlieb, and the rest of the organization will be teaching should fall on willing years, and it may just work.The Cavs’ plan seems to be worth the risk because it isn’t the same old thought process NBA teams use. Why not get good teachers to teach the game? Related TopicsCavsfeaturedJohn Beilein Mark Warmuthlast_img read more

Cougars have a couple of ways to make the playoffs

first_img“I like it when there’s still something to play for this late in the season,” said Campbell Football Coach Justin Price just before practice started Wednesday afternoon.   Had the Cougars defeated Clinton last Friday night, they would be playing for seeding this Friday night.  Now the Orange-n-Blue are just fighting to make a sixth straight post season appearance.Price says a win will do it.  Though should Campbell fall to West and Karns defeat Clinton, the Cougars will still make the playoffs.  A West win and a Clinton win will do the Cougars in.West has been very competitive but has not been able to closeout games.  Price adds that they know how to win.The Rebels are 3 & 6 while Campbell is 4 & 5.  Each team is 2 & 3 in the region.West kept Campbell at bay last October on Bill Wilson Field.  The Rebs won 27 to 20.Coverage over the WLAF – B & M Tires Sports Network begins Friday at 7:00 pm over AM 1450, FM 100.9 and 1450wlaf.com. The Cougars on WLAF are brought to you by these outstanding corporate partners:   Alco Builders and Realty – Tracy Lobertini, B & M Tires, Byrge Screen Printing, Charley’s Pizza, Community Trust Bank, Cumberland Gap Medical, Doyle’s Tire Shop, E.E. Hill & Son Insurance, Fazoli’s, First National Bank, Grace Rehab, Gray Insurance – Nationwide, Lace to Pearls, LUB, Norris Lake Insurance – Travis Thompson, PCUD, Peoples Bank of the South, Representative Dennis Powers, Rice Oil – Marathon, Riggs Drug Jacksboro – Chuck Wells, Senator Ken Yager, State Farm Agent Tabatha Smith, TCAT – Jacksboro, Terry’s Pharmacy, United Cumberland Bank, Valley Roofing.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/25/2018-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more