Cleveland Cavaliers A Much Better Team Than Their Record Indicates
Now that may not sound like a good thing, but there really are a lot of positives about this team, despite its poor record so far.
First of all, I should mention that the Cavs are currently the only 3-10 team in the NBA. On Sunday, the only teams with worse records than Cleveland were the 3-11 Toronto Raptors, the 3-11 Detroit Pistons and the 0-11 Washington Wizards, who may finish the season with more W’s in their name than in their record.
So the Cavs have the fourth-worst record in the league, but there is no way that they are the fourth-worst team. This team should have a much better record, and could easily be 6-7 or 7-6.
The Cavs have been close to winning just about every game, and have given away a few games at the end that they should have won.
Against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, for example, the Cavs outplayed the Heat throughout the night and were up 7 points with less than two minutes to play. Miami hit several clutch shots in the last two minutes, though, while the Cavs could not get the stops they needed and could not get their shots to fall.
That same story has played out in several games for the Cavs so far this year, in part because the team is so young.
The Cavs have a few key veterans such as starting forward/center Anderson Varejao and backup guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, but the core of the team has only been in the NBA for a few years. Among the regular starters, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are in their second NBA seasons, Dion Waiters is a rookie, and Alonzo Gee is in fourth NBA season (and he only played in 11 games in his rookie season). In addition, rookie Tyler Zeller is a key contributor off the bench, and second-year guard Jeremy Pargo, who usually comes off the bench, is currently starting while Irving is out with an injury.
All of these youngsters have played very well and it’s clear that the Cavs have a bright future. For the present, though, things have often looked very dreary.
The Cavs have very good stretches where they move the ball well on offense and get good shots, but then they have bad stretches where they look unsure about what they are doing and start to force shots. And on defense, they again have some great stretches where they are working well together and shutting teams down, and then they have times when they look confused about where they are supposed to be and the opposing teams end up with too many lay-ups and uncontested shots.
The good news is that all of this is fairly normal for young teams, and the Cavs are going to improve as the season goes on.
The Cavs have already seen improvement from their bench players, who have played very well in the last few games after starting off the season like they did not realize the season had started.
And while the tough early season schedule gets even worse with a road game on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have the best record in the league, at some point the schedule is going to ease up a little for the Wine and Gold.
It’s frustrating for fans to see their teams struggling, and a 3-10 record doesn’t provide a lot of hope. But the Cavs are playing well and they are coming along. They almost knocked off the Heat on Saturday, and they are going to learn how to win some of these close games as the season goes on.
And if that doesn’t provide fans with enough hope, well, they should just be thankful they’re not Wizards fans.