Last year they started the season winning 9 of their first 10 games. Last year they ended the season going 4-7 into the playoffs. Last year they were the second seed in the east. Last year they only lost one game on the road to the NBA Finals.
And now that same team, the Cleveland Cavaliers is starting the season off 4-6
They lost to rebuilding teams such as the Nets, Knicks, Magic, Pacers and most recently the Hawks. Two of those loses were by double digits (19 against the Knicks and against the Pacers 17)
With that in mind is it time for the Cavaliers to panic and make a major change?
Now, this isn’t exactly the same team as last year, a few major additions such as Jae Crowder, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Isiah Thomas, who has yet to play a game this year due to injury. But they also still have main pieces, King James and Kevin Love, to carry the load for the team.
Even with those additions they still have major issues that they need to fix if they intend on continuing its reign over the Eastern Conference
One of the glaring issue on the team is rebounding.
Tristan Thompson, arguably the team’s best rebounder, is coming off the bench and now is injured and expected to be out for about a month. In the 21 minutes he played a game, he only got 6.4 rebounds. That leaves other players to pick up the slack such as Kevin Love who is averaging 10.3 rebounds a game. The second team leading rebounder is Lebron James with 7.2 rebounds a game. Everyone else on the team is averaging less than 4 rebounds a game.
The other issue is defense.
The Cavs have allowed 113.4 points a game which is ranked 28th in the league, ahead of only the Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets. For a team that is expected to continue to dominate the east, that is unacceptable. They can still win games, but they will not look like a team that belongs in title contention and if they get to the finals they will get there only to get beaten by the warriors or another strong team in the west.
What can the Cavs do to fix all of these issues?
When they first acquired Jae Crowder in the Irving/Thomas deal, many thought Crowder would help the Cavs, defensive woes. One man can only do so much for a team. I personally thought the Cavs would try to sign lockdown defender Tony Allen while he was available. He would be a cheap option that could definitely improve the team’s perimeter defense with his presence.
Right now it seems like the next option for the Cavs is to jump in on the Eric Bledsoe sweepstakes. He is going to be traded eventually and the Cavs could use his defensive ability. They can only but hope that they can have enough to trade for him between maybe Iman Shumpert, channing frye and maybe some of the younger talents they have acquired. Don’t count on them giving up the Nets first round pick for this upcoming draft, and the next first round pick they can offer is for the 2021 Draft. Even with that they probably will not have enough to beat out what teams like the Bucks, who actually are in the midst of finalizing a deal with the suns.
The next option is for the cavs to…well play harder on defense. At times it looks like they do not want to be out there or the other team wants it more than them. It really comes down to that with the losses they have taken, the other team just wanted the win more than the Cavs.
Overall, the Cavs have enough and can do enough to secure a top seed in the east. The gameplan for them has been and will be run the offense through Lebron, and that’s how they will be successful. For all, we know they are hitting the rough patch early and in a few games, they will be back to looking like a top team in the East.
Cavs fans, don’t worry in time the Cavs will hit their stride, especially when the team chemistry finally comes together, and look like one of the best teams in the East again.