It hasn’t been a fun season for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and it’s only gotten worse since the Christmas Day loss in Golden State. To put it bluntly, with a record of 6 wins and 12 losses since the end of an 18-1 streak against the NBA’s also-rans, the Cavs suck.
It’s become the norm to see James hide his face in his hands after passing the ball to one of the Cavs brick-layers. He can’t hide his frustration and he’s stopped trying to. It’s affected his own play as well. Since when has it been normal for LeBron to get stripped or dribble the ball into the hands of an opponent?
Cleveland is not by any means out of contention. At 30-21 they are still seventh overall in the NBA and the only real risk they face is ending up in the unthinkable position of not having home court in the first round of the playoffs.
As bad as things look, and they look bad, the teams Cleveland is most likely to face in an opening playoff series aren’t giving them much trouble – except the Pacers who’ve taken three of four from the Cavs. Cleveland doesn’t want anything to do with Lance Stephenson (half joking) and the over-achieving Pacers in a first round match-up.
It’s the second round level of talent that’s concerning.
Since the 99-92 loss to the Dubs on December 25th, the Cavs have lost to:
- @Celtics 102-88
- @Raptors 133-99
- Warriors 118-108
- OKC 148-128
- @Spurs 114-102
- Rockets 120-88
The Cavs aren’t just losing to the better teams in the NBA, they aren’t even competing. This season, in games decided by 10 points or more, Cleveland has a losing 8-13 record and are the only team in the league’s top 11 teams with a losing record in games decided by double-digits.
It’s bad enough getting blown out on the road in Toronto by over 30 points, but losing by over 20 points in front of the now booing home crowd has to be especially disheartening.
Obviously something has to change and the easiest and usually cheapest way to give an under-achieving team a kick in the butt is to fire the coach. At this point, it couldn’t hurt.
The alternative is to trade away a rotation player or two, but with the way the Cavs have been playing, the guys they’d like to trade couldn’t have a lower value and no one should blame the organization for wanting to hang on to both of their first round draft picks. Unless James is willing to pick up his player option for next season, trading away draft picks would be border-line insanity.
With an estimated luxury tax bill of over $40 million, no team has committed more dollars to this season than the Cavs, so something has to give. The Cavs suck just isn’t acceptable.