For the third consecutive season the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be having problems within the organization during the regular season. However, now is not the time to overreact and hit the panic button.
While it is alarming that the Cavs have lost six out of their last eight games, I do think we all need to pump the breaks and not go into full on panic mode. It is obvious the Cavs need to improve the team between now and the trade deadline on February 23, but the team is limited to what moves they can make and will have to get creative to add additional talent to the roster.
The Cavs are still without J.R. Smith, who still will not be back for another six weeks and are still trying to incorporate new addition Kyle Korver to the team. The main problem the Cavs have had over the last few weeks is the lack of urgency on the defensive end and too many unnecessary turnovers. In the last eight games the Cavs average nearly 15 turnovers a game (14.7) and giving up 112.1 points, which is startling for a team that preaches effort on the defensive end. Too often the Cavs just simply refuse to play a complete 48-minute game, which can be frustrating to watch.
Teams struggle throughout an 82 game season, it is nearly impossible to go through that long of a span without hitting a bump or two in the road. After all, the Cavs still are 30-14 and hold a three game lead on the top stop in the Eastern Conference.
Something that many of us could however do without is the unnecessary drama that LeBron James caused when he said the team still needs another playmaker and the Cavs roster is top heavy.
These comments are bad for two reasons. One, it makes the other players on the roster not named Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love feel as if James does not think they are good enough top help him win a championship. And two, it hurts the already limited power the Cavs front office has in making deals because in all likelihood teams will now try to extract as much as possible from the team in any deal because they know James has called for the Cavs front office to go get a playmaker.
To his credit general manager David Griffin did not back down after James made his comments on Monday night. Griffin stood his ground and said he does not think the Cavs need to make a trade at the moment and he also does not think the trade market has what the Cavs are looking for. Even after the two sides met to discuss what had taken place over the 48 hours, it still seemed as if both James and Griffin are still not on the same page.
These playmaker comments from James come at an interesting time, as it was reported yesterday by ESPN that the Knicks called the Cavs about a Love for Carmelo Anthony trade, which the Cavs were quick to say no to. However it is no secret that James would like to play with his good friend and the organization turning down that opportunity is what may have caused James to unload after Monday night’s loss.
For the time being the Cavs need to improve their effort on the court and find a way to play a consistent 48-minute game on both ends of the floor. While it is important that the Cavs fix their play on the court, it is not to time to overreact. It is helpful to keep in mind it is still mid January and the season is a long grind. Stay off Twitter, avoid listening to the “hot take” experts and just simply relax.
If the Cavs want to be successful at defending their championship, they going to have to without a doubt earn it and truth be told the players, coaches and front office personnel in the organization would not want it any other way.