Two and a half weeks into the NBA Season the 3x reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers sit at 3-5. There three wins coming over the Boston Celtics on opening night who were in shock after the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward. The only quality win came on the road vs the Milwaukee Bucks and early MVP front-runner Giannis Antetokounmpo and another home win over the lowly Chicago Bulls. They have dropped five of the last six at home vs the Orlando Magic who are off to a good start, at the Brooklyn Nets the worst team in the league last year, at the New Orleans Pelicans who have talent but can’t put it together, and vs the New York Knicks, and Indiana Pacers at home two teams that might land the first overall pick.
Dwayne Wade has already been benched, as has Jae Crowder, Tristan Thompson is out for a month, and Isaiah Thomas isn’t coming back until January and he certainly won’t help their defensive woes. Derrick Rose has already missed time and we all know he’s going to miss more. Kevin Love and Lebron James remain great but none of their surrounding cast is performing how they are capable of. And you have to wonder that James who feels bound for Los Angeles at season end might mentally check out. Now defenders of the Cavs might point out the fact that every year since James returned in 2014 the Cavs have had stretches of poor play. And all three times they came out of it an made it to the NBA Finals and won it in 2016. But they also claimed that the man causing all the problems in the locker room was Kyrie Irving. Well now Irving is gone and the Cavs are doing it again and it’s happening very early in the year. You can also make the claim that it might just be growing pains of putting so many new players in one place like Wade, Crowder, Rose, and Thomas when he returns.
All I know is this without Lebron James the Cavs will be the laughing stalk of the NBA. James and Thomas are both free agents at season’s end, and Love has two years left and we all saw what a Kevin Love led team looks like in Minnesota. If the Cavs want James and Thomas to stay they aren’t off to a good start in convincing them to do so.
Cameron Vieira is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CamInTaunton,“Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network