Because he's third fiddle here. You have two guys who know how to produce efficient, offensive basketball in many different ways. Kyrie has not proven to be efficient. He has nights when he's explosive, but he also has nights where he looks lost and like a wet puppy out there. Of course, they have to figure it out.
The role players around them, though, are going to be better. If Varejao stays, he's going to be better. If Dion Waiters can somehow figure out how to be a sixth man off the bench, he's going to be better. Tom, you talked about having those two high-IQ guys -- they'll make sure that everything is done the right way once they start practicing. They are going to be demanding, obsessed with detail and with efficiency. I don't know coach David Blatt, but, man, he's got to be excited.
The only other thing I question is the offensive balance on the court. Offensively, anybody can coach them and they'll be great. Defensively, they need to figure out how to help LeBron rather than have him be the guy you deploy to stop everybody. Is there another defensive player on that team? I don't know that team very well but I don't see a great defensive team, even though they were good statistically last season. How do you decide to play the game? LeBron and Love will figure it out.
Thorpe: The intriguing thing going forward is style. I'm good friends with Coach Blatt and spoke with him in Las Vegas for a couple of hours, and he happens to be -- I think -- one of the top coaches in the world. He'll prove it in the next couple of years. He's very pragmatic. I don't think he has any one style that he's married to. He wants to win. You don't just look at what style best suits your roster. You also look at what style suits to get us to play to a certain level that gives us a certain advantage over the majority -- or in Cleveland's case, all -- of the competition. It's no good to come up with a style to win you the East, and then get run off the court in five games by the Spurs or any of the other four or five really fast teams in the West.
It wasn't just the transition game that pulverized the Heat into submission; it was the play in their half-court sets. You can't suddenly play with that style in the Finals without having some serious practice with it. To me, Blatt has to find out which style to play with those guys. I think, based on what they currently have, they can play really fast. You have to add complementary pieces to that. I think their style needs to be fast, and I don't just mean in the full court. I mean in the half court -- get that ball moving. It also plays against LeBron's worst tendencies. The spacing they'll have, assuming they find a shooting guard, they'll have four 3-point shooters on the court. A spread floor and lots of movement in the half court -- I can't imagine any team being able to guard that team.