August 26, 2014

Will the Cavs Win Another Game this Year?

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a month makes –  it was only one month ago that the Cavs found themselves in the middle of a three-game road winning streak.  I attended the middle game of said streak where the Cavaliers pulled away from the Washington Wizards in the final two minutes of a game that fell on the second night of a road back-to-back.

The Cavaliers would continue their winning ways in New Jersey just three nights later.  The team displayed a ton of heart and fight in gutting out road games in the final minutes after blowing large leads in the third quarter.  They appeared to be well on their way to a respectable season and certainly a notch above the lowest tier of the NBA and specifically the cellar dwellers of the Eastern Conference.

The catastrophe of last Thursday evening has hastened a rapid plunge into the darkness, a week of pathetic competitive basketball output unmatched around here since 2002.  In less than a week, the Cavaliers have lost to the last-place team in three separate divisions.  Oh, the losses were also by an average of 21 points.  This came on top of the 28-point loss to the Heat that left many Clevelanders questioning the heart of this team.  This week of uncompetitive games has left many wondering if it can get any worse.  Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, it appears the easy part of the schedule during this holiday season has now passed.

The Cavs have been run off the floor by these cellar dwellers away from the friendly comforts of The Q, with the fact that they were played on the road being some sort of consolation I suppose.  But it’s not going to get any easier as the road is where they will find themselves for much of this month – and not facing last place teams.  The Cavaliers return to The Q tonight to face a first place Bulls team headed in an opposite direction.  They then hit the road for four straight games which, after not being within 30 of Minny and 20 of Philly, for all intents and purposes, appear to be unwinnable games.

Tell me where you see the Cavs winning this month.  They host the Knicks on the 18th and the Timberwolves on the 26th and those appear to be the most realistic possibilities for a W.  Is this reactionary or alarmist?  Possibly.  But after this week, is this as low as it goes?   Eh, not from looking at the road ahead.

In sum, they have 11 games left this month.  Six of these are on the road where they appear unable or unwilling to simply be competitive.  Three of the five home games are against the NBA’s elite and current first place teams Chicago, Utah, and Orlando.  This leaves us with the aforementioned Knicks and Timberwolves games and a potential ceiling of a 2-13 month.

I do not mean to pile on the Cleveland pessimism but this week has left us all wondering whether or not this team has simply quit – a word Cavalier fans have invoked all too often in this year of our discontent.  It went from good to bad so quickly that this schizophrenic squad could swing back to competitive again, beginning tonight with the Bulls at the Q.  Coach Scott, however, is using buzz words and phrases like “heart” and “jump ship.”  He’s not sure his team is even listening to him.  It’s only going to get tougher after squandering what should have been legitimate opportunities for road wins this week.  It leaves me actually considering and publicly writing about whether they will visit the win column the rest of this year (calendar year, that is).

A year ago, an entire month of winless basketball seemed unimaginable but after this week, the potential for such a disaster is on the table.  What a difference a year makes.  What a difference a month makes.

  • Billy Thomas

    Bring back coach Lucas! That man knows how to lose.. Top lottery pick here we come!

  • Lyon

    I agree. Would not be surprised at all. It’s about time Scott starts playing Harris & Samuels b/c you know they’ll put an effort into the game. Just play who’ll try, that’s all I ask.

  • Chris

    Needs more Youtube links to Jim Mora ranting.

  • Acrossthefield11

    There isn’t even a legitimate number 1 prospect to hope for in the draft.

    I get more satisfaction in seeing Miami lose than the cavs win this season and that’s a sad sad statement.

    Ohio State shooty hoops to the rescue.

  • Jay

    I think Mr. Gilbert and Coach Scott need to realize this team, in it’s current state, is not going to win a ton a games. Nevermind making the playoffs. I think it’s time to blow it up and truly rebuild. Ship off Mo, Jamison, and even Andy (that makes me sad to say that) and start collecting draft picks and cap relief and what not.

  • http://www.ginola.nl dutch

    Agree with #5. Rebuild. Trade away the ‘lack-of-effort’ guys. Try some package deal for a young and promising player, or get as high in the draft as possible.

  • Harv 21

    Guessing that LeBron’s ghost still looms large in the locker room and can’t be quickly purged just by claiming you’re over him. A bunch of these veterans already know they’re gone, whether this year or next, and if you know that, you have your money but this Type A coach is screaming at you …

    The one guy I’m watching is JJ and his continuing basketball ADD. At some point they’ll have to make a huge decision: are athletic bigs so rare we put up with this, or do we move him and get value while some teams still think he will be a star?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “I think Mr. Gilbert and Coach Scott need to realize this team, in it’s current state, is not going to win a ton a games. Nevermind making the playoffs. I think it’s time to blow it up and truly rebuild.”

    I think that they both know this. And I also think it’s already ‘blown up’ to a point. The trading of pieces will then begin the rebuild. Gilbert needs to realize that there won’t be another Detroit anomoly – this will take a few years; depends on if the fans are willing to wait.

  • dr. cleveland

    I never thought we’d be good this year, but I was excited to see guys playing hard at the beginning of the season. That excitement has now dwindled as I watch these poor performances. I could handle losing as long as they’re being out played not out hustled.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Every single player that was here last year that saw meaningful time on the court with “you know who” needs to go….because I’m confident that they are all sitting around thinking, “maybe he was right…maybe we need to leave if we want to win a ring.” You can’t truly re-build with a whole new system, brand new coach, and same players.

    Andy, Mo, Gibson, Jamison, all of them. Gone. Start from scratch and get players that fit Scott’s system and no memories of how things were the past few years. Young, hungry players who want to make a name for themselves…not reminisce about how awesome things were when “you know who” was here.

  • Oppie

    Like many have said, definitely time to rebuild. Trade the better pieces away and get some young talent and picks in return to build through the draft. Scott can actually develop young players so I’ll be interested to see what he can do in the draft.

    With the way Sullinger has played, I sadly want the Cavs to continue to fall to increase the chances of grabbing him. I’d love to build a team around him. He’s a young big, with a good basketball IQ and doesn’t appear to have basketball ADD. Plus he’s already receiving votes for NBA player of the decade, haha.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=SummerForecast10-PlayerOfDecade

  • GhostToMost

    @10 BuckeyeDawg, well said. I completely agree.

  • MD

    I’m with the majority, get picks or young (hungry) players and build for the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if the players’ lack of effort is to try to force the organization to blow it up, so they can leave and maybe play with their master LeBron.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    Lottery balls. Those are the only chances the Cavs have of getting competitive, so let’s get as many of them as we can.

  • Hype

    Definitely Trade: Jamison and Parker.
    DO Not Trade: Hickson, Gibson, Varejao.
    Anybody else on the team can be traded in my eyes.
    Possible Drat pick: Harrison Barnes.(If we tank the season)
    Possible mid season pick-up: Iguodala.
    New Starting line – up: Sessions; Iguadala; Hickson; Barnes; Varejao.
    Bench: Gibson and anybody left from this current roster.
    Just some thoughts

  • mgbode

    hard to predict winning when it seems the team has quit on themselves.

    let’s hope they decide they have some professional pride.

  • Shamrock

    Just lose baby! Trade them all.

  • historycat

    Ya, I think I was really holding out hope for the power of Comic Sans, but it’s reality check time for me.

    As much as I like Mo, Andy, Twan, etc. there is something wrong with this team that isn’t getting fixed anytime soon.

  • historycat

    *is getting fixed anytime soon.