Alright, so compared to the rest of the league the Cavaliers don't exactly suck, at least not entirely. Compared, however, to the team that won the title just 2 years ago, this team is playing like a mound of moldy trash. Truthfully this loss to the Warriors was actually a glimmer of hope. It was close all game, they played some defense and weren't blown out by the best team of all time. That's about the best we've seen of them in quite a while. The Cavaliers are playing atrocious defense and their aging roster doesn't have the speed and athleticism to support the sheer amount of points needed to make up for that huge deficiency.
Does a team with the 2nd worst defense in the league sound like a title contender? The Kings are the only team worse on that end and they're tanking their god damn pants off. In comparison, two years ago when the Cavs won the title they had the 10th ranked defense in the league. Opponents are scoring 10 more points a game against them this year, that's a fantastic way to lose a lot. Their effort on the court is lacking and it seems time for them to completely fall apart.
Here's what is going to happen.
Isaiah Thomas wants out or doesn't expect them to keep him. He was quoted saying that the Cavaliers don't practice and that he gets his reps in game. A comment like this can be easily read as slightly disgruntled. The man wants to get paid, and Dan Gilbert might even run him over with a Brinks truck if Lebron leaves in order to hold on to some semblance of a competitive team. Whether he gets traded before the deadline depends on Lebron. He is, after all, the real manager of the team. Expect Thomas to wear a different jersey before long.
Lebron is going to leave. They're not winning the title with this team and there aren't any players available for trade around the league that can push them into a spot that levels them with the Warriors. They're going to lose in the finals, if they even make it that far. (I think they will.) The Celtics and Raptors have taken huge steps toward making this the year the Kings' streak ends. When that happens the deal is done, he's out of there. Best case scenario is he signs another one year deal and the Cavs get to do it all again.
Here's what needs to happen.
Either Lebron needs to commit to Cleveland for next season (he won't), or the Cavaliers need to acknowledge that he isn't the GM and start preparing for him to leave. They have the Brooklyn pick, which is devaluing itself with each Nets win, and they have a bunch of aging, past their prime stars. If they want to look to the future they need to start shopping someone like Kevin Love in search of draft picks while also seeing what they can get for guys like Thomas and Korver. There are always teams looking to add a piece before the playoffs and the Cavs are usually that team. Unfortunately they find themselves in the most precarious of situations. Lebron holds all the power and if they load up on wallet emptying help now, it could all be for not as Lebron simply walks into the sunset to join the Lakers, the Rockets, or the Monstars.
Regardless of how this plays out, the fact that it's all up in the air is weighing on the entire organization. Players are frustrated, management is lost and Dan Gilbert is still the most despicable owner in the league.
I wonder how things would change if Lebron admitted to leaving or even just lied and told Gilbert he'd stay. Maybe setting the Cavs free wouldn't even matter. Maybe Lebron truly is the only good thing Cleveland sports has ever seen. With that I leave Cavs fans with a quote.
"The secret to happiness is low expectations." - Barry Schwartz (Probably from Cleveland)