The Cavs l̶o̶s̶t̶ were embarrassed by the Washington Wizards last night dropping their record to 5-6. Much like it’s been during this three game skid, the offense was motionless, the defense was clueless, and the body language / energy of the players was discouraging. This performance served as a soapbox-megaphone combo for analysts and social media aficionados alike to (rightfully) blast Cleveland’s performance but also second guess everything about the previous five months. There are far too many instances of Cav-blasting to provide, so I’ll do my best to summarize what I’ve seen in how I expect these people think (caps lock intended because I can only picture these arguments being shouted):
- LEBRON DOESN’T HAVE IT! HE’S LOST A STEP! HE’S NOT GOOD ANYMORE!
- DAVID BLATT IS IN WAY OVER HIS HEAD! I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU COACHED THOSE FOREIGNERS, BUT THIS IS ‘MERICA! BASKETBALL ONLY COUNTS WHEN IT’S PLAYED OVER HERE WHEN NASCAR ISN’T ON!
- KYRIE IS OVERRATED! HE’S A BALLHOG WHO DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY WITH GOOD PLAYERS. FORGET THAT HE WAS JUST NAMED MVP OF THE MOST RECENT WORLD BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. HE SUCKS!
- KEVIN LOVE ALREADY HATES IT HERE! HE’S UNHAPPY AND WANTS TO GO TO L.A. HE ONLY LOOKED GOOD BECAUSE HE WAS ON A BAD TEAM, NOT BECAUSE HE AVERAGED A DOUBLE-DOUBLE AND CAN SCORE FROM ANY SPOT ON THE COURT!
- THE LOCKER ROOM IS DIVIDED! BLATT AND LEBRON SAID DIFFERENT THINGS MINUTES APART WHEN ASKED THE SAME QUESTION WHILE NOT IN THE SAME ROOM! CAVS-GATE!!!
- MAYBE THEY WON’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
Yes, the team looks like hot garbage right now and LeBron hasn’t been his normal self in these past few games.
Yes, there are absolutely things that I would love for David Blatt to learn sooner than later – namely, creating a rotation where at least one of the Big Three is on the floor at all times or just finding rotations that work in general.
Yes, Kyrie and Kevin Love have never been on a winning team and don’t have experience playing in meaningful NBA games. Kevin Love especially has looked lost in the offense.
But jumping ship so soon, everyone?
I’ll mention it once and once only, mostly because it has been mentioned nearly to death, that the Heat started their season at 9-8 during LeBron’s first year in Miami. While Irving and Love are arguably more talented / have more upside at this point than Wade and Bosh did in 2010 (please note the word “arguably”), Wade and Bosh had each experienced the playoffs. The three of them were hungrier coming into the situation. They had all tasted defeat on the biggest of stages in the post-season. Wade even tasted success already owning one ring. On top of that, they were all extremely close off the court which probably had a ton to do with the quick on-the-court chemistry. The 2014-2015 Cavs are not the 2010-2011 Heat. That doesn’t mean that they are in a better or worse position though.
The 82-game season is only 11 games old for Cleveland which has mostly new players including new top players, a new coach trying to implement a new system with help from his new GM, and a player in LeBron attempting something totally new in trying to be a player-coach while leading / forming a group of young talent. When LeBron and Blatt and Griffin and Love and Kyrie and the drunk dude interviewed on the street by ESPN all said that this would be a process and all experts pretty much agreed, what else would anyone expect? Did I miss some new and improved definition of the word “process?” Anyone who expected Cleveland to challenge the Bulls record of 72-10 this year doesn’t understand team sports. Anyone who expected that they would waltz their way to a title with no competition is just plain dumb.
This process will undoubtedly take some time to iron itself out – perhaps upwards of another month. But guess what: the East still isn’t good. As long as the Cavs figure out their game by April, I like their chances of getting through the East. They have too much talent to not make the playoffs.
Now I know negativity and controversy sell. Sportswriters are singing praises to the heavens because of the Cavs’ struggles. It allows them to ask the ridiculous questions suggested above. It allows them to hook readers in with “LeBron Not Good Anymore” or “Love Wants Out!” Junk like that won’t be going away until the Cavs aren’t struggling. But fans, please, in the spirit of Aaron Rogers: