After the first couple weeks of the season, I didn’t think mature was a word I would use to describe this Cavs team’s mindset or even my own. It’s happening slowly, but it’s happening, and I hope the Cavs are able to hold on to this change. When Luol Deng was traded to the Cavs, he brought an above average defense and often times struggling shot in his suitcase . He also brought some maturity. He knows no rash emotions and it shows when he is asked about missing the playoffs for the first time in four years in this Bob Finnan piece.
“It’s definitely tough,” [Deng] said. “But I think it’s tough for everybody, not just because I’ve been there and some other guys haven’t. This group of guys wanted to be in the playoffs so bad. We did everything we could.
“We’ve had our ups and downs. We haven’t been consistent. We’ve shown how good we can be and also shown how bad we could be.”
If Deng leaves after this season, I’ll remember him for being so even emotionally. He could have leaked stuff about our failing locker room and tried to explain away his troubles, but he stayed quiet and played hard.
In school, I remember learning about Ronald Reagan’s form of trickle-down-economics. If you give money to rich people, it will eventually trickle down and help everyone in society. What about trickle-down attitudes? Luol Deng’s maturity seems to have permeated the whole team. There was talk last week about Dion Waiters taking responsibility for the loss to the Thunder. Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer is continuing the talk about Dion’s growth.
In another somewhat ironic indication of his maturity, Waiters has recently been playing the peacemaker when an opponent, like Phoenix’s Channing Frye, takes exception to a teammate, often pesky rookie Matthew Dellavedova, or when Brown gets upset with the officials, as he did in the recent game against San Antonio. Last year, more often that not, it was Waiters who needed to be calmed down.
Brett Brown’s reaction to Henry Sims’ desire to play solid defense: “I want to hug him, start crying and have him over for dinner.”
— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) February 22, 2014
As a more mature man, I can appreciate when people from my past succeed. Henry Sims isn’t making a bid for an All-Star game any time soon, but during his time with the 76ers, he has shown he is a rotation player in the NBA. Jake Pavorsky of the Liberty Ballers blog explains why coaches in the league should want to invite Sims over for dinner.
There’s still no definitive news on Kyrie Irving coming back this season. Mary Schmitt Boyer is reporting that Irving has been shooting around and doing some running. There’s still another week before he gets reevaluated. If he’s able to shoot, I think he should get back out there and help the team. Our playoff chances rose to 2.7 percent, so the season still isn’t totally done.