It’s not shocking that the Cleveland Cavaliers had a shaky start to their season but amidst all the criticism and backlash, ‘King James’ has rallied his troops to an 8-game win streak with a 13-7 record.
With Kyrie Irving taking his talents to Boston during the off season and the former general manager David Griffin stepping down from his post, there were 8 new faces in the Cavs roster at the beginning of the season.
Coach Tyronn Lue had a tough time handling the star-studded roster and the lack of chemistry between the players resulted in mayhem on the court.
LeBron James: “What month is it again, October? I’m not about to go crazy about this right now”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 30, 2017
2 weeks into the season, the Cavs suffered a 4 game losing streak despite of their 2-0 start and as above, LeBron James could do nothing but preach patience.
The starting unit of the Cavaliers failed repeatedly to score in handfuls and put stops at the other end to gain momentum and it resulted in a frustrated second unit playing catch up once they stepped on the court.
Dwyane Wade: “I want one time for the first unit to get on the second unit because we blew a lead. I’m waiting for that day to happen.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 5, 2017
Since the beginning of the season, Cavs showed trouble at the defensive end as they were sluggish on closing out perimeter shooters, putting bodies on big centers and guarding pick and rolls due to lack of communication. In the course of the losing streak, all their opponents scored 110+ points with a 3 point shooting percentage above 37%.
James, who had heard enough complaints, following the resolution of “great offence trumps great defense”, took matters into his own hands and stomped over the Wizards with authority, scoring 57 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. An overall effort was needed to get the Cavs out from the slump they were stuck in and 56.1% field goal percentage and 3 Cavaliers scoring double digits (K. Love 11 pts, J. Crowder 17 pts, D. Rose 20 pts) worked in their favor.
Due to the lack of intensity and requisite defensive mind set, both high powered and off-rhythm teams steamrolled the Cavs as they lost to Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks. History had to be rewritten for the Cavs to start clicking on all cylinders again.
The @cavs overcame a 23-point deficit to win 104-101 in New York tonight #CavsKnicks
— Cavs Official Notes (@CavsNotes) November 14, 2017
Along with 23 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds from James, Kyle Korver; the veteran shooter showered 3 pointers, scoring 19 of his 21 points in the Cavs 43 point 4th quarter.
Relive the thrilling comeback the wine and gold ballers made, which was a feat achieved after 11 years.
Cavs ranking 4th in the offensive ratings list at the moment cannot be appreciated as they are 27th in the defensive ratings list. Opponents are shooting 37.4% beyond the arc and 55.4% on 2-point field goals and they have only managed to keep the opponent’s score under 100, 5 times.
15.1 turnovers with a meagre 22.4 assists per game tells the story of players still trying to figure out the taste and capabilities of each other as currently, the Cavs depend on individual talent to keep the scoreboard ticking.
It’s unequivocal that the Cavs need to bring their game up to better standards both offensively and defensively if they are to regain their supremacy in the league. James, Love, Korver, Crowder and Wade averaging double digit scores of 27.1, 18.6, 12.4, 12.3 and 12 respectively while defensively allowing 43.5% field goal percentage during the winning streak are signs for a brighter time ahead.
Meanwhile the most recent news on the Cavs roster is that the 2011 MVP, Derrick Rose is “evaluating his future in basketball” (considering retirement) as he is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in a matchup against the Bucks last month.
As one Cavaliers source tells ESPN about Rose: “He’s tired of being hurt and it’s taking a toll on him mentally.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 24, 2017
The explosive veteran point guard has had many setbacks in his career and it was with high hopes that he joined the Cavaliers for a veteran’s minimum wage in order to contend for a championship. His teammates have been nothing but supportive of his actions and wish him all the best despite of the decision he will make on his career.
Dwyane Wade and Channing Frye on the Derrick Rose situation, to ESPN: pic.twitter.com/ofaM70sEzy
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 25, 2017
In the interim, the wine and gold ballers are highly anticipating the return of the elite point guard, Isaiah Thomas from a hip injury he suffered during last season playoffs. Thomas who was 5th on MVP voting list last season averaged 28.9 points per game as a Celtic and despite the fact that the Cavaliers are lacking roster depth due to injuries, the franchise isn’t rushing Thomas to get back on court. He’s expected to proclaim his starting point guard position by the end of December and here’s a clip to see the progress the ardent baller made so far from being unable to run on the court.
Saying that the James led Cavaliers have a high possibility of making a trip to the finals for the 8th consecutive time isn’t hyperbolic as they currently hold the longest active winning streak of the league. Even at his 15th season, “The King” James still has a lot of tricks up his sleeve and it’ll surely be another memorable year for the Cavaliers franchise.
That’s a wrap for this week on the Cavaliers and their season so far. Till next week, keep balling!