The Cleveland Cavaliers won their sixth straight game Wednesday as they defeated the Orlando Magic, 101-93. More importantly, the win helped the Cavaliers keep pace in the NBA Eastern Conference as they chase the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth and final playoff spot. The recent stretch has been a bit of a surprise since Cleveland has dealt with some recent injuries, as well as the Luol Deng trade rumors.
With all the commotion currently surrounding the Cavaliers, I would not have picked them to make the postseason, but it looks like they have plans of their own. I guess they aren’t that much of a long shot to make the playoffs; after all, the East is a mess and six of the eight playoff spots are still wide open. Not to mention that Cleveland’s competition isn’t exactly stiff. Right now, the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Bobcats and Cavaliers are all competing for the eighth spot.
If Cleveland does want to make the playoffs this season, they will have to settle on a roster. The current rumors surrounding the relatively new Cavaliers won’t help the team build chemistry. Each and every game from here on out matters to their hopes of making the postseason, and trade rumors only hinder team morale.
If I was Mike Brown or Dan Gilbert, I might hold off on trading Deng, especially with the current injuries to Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejo. However, if they do decide to trade Deng, I do not like their chances of making the postseason; there just isn’t that much time left in the season to make that big of a change and benefit from it. Deng is averaging 17 points this season and is a quality player. He has only begun to click with his new team and it can only get better from here.
I would urge the Cavaliers to take it easy and be patient, because right now, the team is winning. Why ruin a good thing?
Shane Phillips is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantNBA, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.