You can judge a team largely on how they perform against certain opponents. When the Cleveland Cavaliers face top teams, they often struggle. Although they’ve had a season of inconsistency, they can relax knowing they are no longer one of the basement teams in the NBA and that they are indeed improving.
The Cavaliers took on the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night and were in cruise control for most of the game as they won 93-78. This is the kind of performance that the Cavaliers have been looking for: consistency all game and hard work at both ends of the floor. Although it was just the struggling Bucks, they can only beat the team out in front of them, and that’s often something the Cavaliers have struggled to do.
By beating teams like the Bucks, it’s easy for the Cavaliers to know where they stand.
This year’s draft, free agency and any possibly trades are all going to be vital to the team taking the next step up. The Cavaliers could still sneak into the playoffs this season, but it’s likely they’d be swept and take a mere playoff entry as a positive in an overall frustrating season. If they can make the right moves in 2014, then we might be looking at a team that can not only beat the Bucks, but one that can hold their own against any NBA team.
The Cavaliers have all the right players to be a top NBA team, but it’s now about making the transition from good to great as they have recently done from poor to average.