The San Antonio Spurs thrashed the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 yesterday. Before that, the Cavaliers lost to Washington Wizards 127-115. The Cavs season is going downhill at an alarming rate. They have lost the first seed to the Boston Celtics. They have lost 4 of their last 6 games on the road. With just 9 games remaining in the season, the Cavs can fall as low as 4th seed in the east if they don’t improve their game.
A variety of issues are stunting the Cavs season. Cleveland was never a good defensive team but they’ve had enough offensive firepower to win games at a consistent rate for the last two seasons. This season, they are ranked 22nd in Opponent’s PPG. Teams like Spurs and Wizards have exploited the Cavs defence to the extent that you have to ask yourself – Is this the same Cavs team from last year? Merely running circles around the Cavs defence has been apparently enough to make buckets consistently.
Another issue for the Cavs has been injuries. Fitness is the most underrated factor in winning championships. The Cavs has been one of the most unhealthy teams this season. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith have only recently returned after missing significant time and are looking to find back their rhythm. Mid-season pickup Kyle Korver is also dealing with foot issues. Deron Williams has just joined the Cavs and we’ll have to see how that works out.
The eastern conference has changed a lot this season. Teams like Wizards, Celtics and Heat might make Cleveland’s road to the NBA finals a whole lot bumpier.
The intensity will increase fourfold in the playoffs. A lot of teams have upped the ante this season and this should in all probability concern the Cavs. That being said, Cleveland still has the big three of Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and they still are the favourites to win the Eastern Conference Championship. They also have a lot of issues to deal with in 9 games worth of time before the playoffs begin.