Are we forgetting who the Cleveland Cavaliers are and what they have done for the past three seasons? Maybe so. But have we also forgotten who LeBron James is and what he has done for the past seven seasons? The Cavaliers are struggling this season and rightfully so, but what else did we expect? This is what happens when you take away a top player in Kyrie Irving and replace him with a fragile Derrick Rose and an injured Isaiah Thomas. All the while, banking on experience to win in a young league.
But that’s not it for the Cavaliers woes this season. There is the issue of Kevin Love starting at center. As long as Love has been in the NBA, there has never been any mention of him being a top-tier rim protector. A great rebounder, yes, but defender, no. The Cavaliers are ranked 29th in the NBA in terms of defense and that is not the blueprint for a championship caliber team. Look at their roster. When was the last time Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, or Jeff Green were relevant in the NBA?
Thanks to the on-court GM, Lebron James, the Cavs decided to sign a 36-year-old Dwyane Wade and in doing so, became the oldest team in the league. So why all the panic and Yahoo Sports headline about the Cavs going 2-8 in their last 10 games and players saying they’re not a championship caliber team? Who didn’t see this coming? To be honest, it’s not just their age and lack of defense. While the Cavaliers were running through the Eastern Conference the last three seasons, teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Indian Pacers, and Toronto Raptors were improving by going the youth route. Sooner or later, it was all going to catch up to them eventually.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone to three straight NBA Finals, LeBron has been to seven and these guys are no longer spring chickens. To add more fuel to this is the fact that every team in the NBA has their sights set on taking down the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. As much as fans hate seeing both teams go at for a fourth straight year, imagine how the players feel.
With reports of trade rumors involving Thompson for DeAndre Jordan still floating around, the Cavs have just become another team. The issues we’re hearing about now are nothing new. We’ve heard them before and will continue to until the team is broken up. Winning breeds jealousy and this has followed LeBron James most of his career. Are the Cavs deserving of this backlash? Yes. This is what happens when the other shoe drops. Experience is needed to win championships, however, someone forgot to tell the Cavs they also need to start planning for the future with younger talent sprinkled in.
The NBA trade deadline is approaching and the Cleveland Cavaliers made it clear there will be some moves made, but who and for what? Will they be forced to trade the Brooklyn Nets 2018 draft pick? If so, then how will they cover themselves if James decides to leave? The one team looking to deal with them are the Los Angeles Clippers for Jordan, but he’s no building block.
While it’s still early in the season, it’s a pretty accurate assessment that the Cleveland Cavaliers are in trouble. What’s worse is that they brought this on themselves by being greedy.