When LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert released a scathing statement bashing James. In between calling LeBron a coward and a narcissist Gilbert made the following shocking statement:
“I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former ‘king’ wins one. You can take it to the bank.”
We all laughed when we read that statement, obviously it’s ridiculous, but I never anticipated the Cavaliers being this bad.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are terrible. Right now Cleveland is on a 15-game losing streak and has the NBA’s worst record (8-34).
The Cavaliers started the first month of the season 7-10 which isn’t bad for a team with a new head coach. Byron Scott appeared to be the right man for the job as the Cavaliers opened their season with a home win against the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. Things appeared to be OK in Cleveland.
Since the November 27th home win against the Grizzlies the Cavaliers have won only one game, a 109-102 home win against the New York Knicks. Cleveland’s downward spiral can be attributed to many things, but the return of LeBron James seemed to send the team on a downward spiral.
On December 2nd the King of Akron returned to town and the Miami Heat thrashed the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-90 and seemingly ripped the soul right out of the team. LeBron James dropped 38 points on his old team and mocked his former teammates throughout the contest.
That home loss to Miami changed the Cavaliers season for good. Before beating the Knicks on December 18th the Cavs were on a 10-game losing streak. Since beating the Knicks Cleveland has lost 15 in a row.
Cleveland is not only psychologically defeated, the team has battled injuries from their best players all season long. Center Anderson Varejao is out for the season after tearing a tendon in his right ankle. Mo Williams has battled hip issues all season long, while Leon Powe suffers from lingering knee problems.
Things are so bad that Cleveland’s best player Antawn Jamison is contemplating retirement after the season.
The positive side of Cleveland’s disastrous season is that young players like J.J. Hickson and Daniel Gibson will have the opportunity to play big minutes and gain valuable experience. Also, the last time that the Cavaliers had the worst record in the NBA they wound up winning the NBA Draft Lottery and drafting LeBron James.
For now Cavaliers fans have to suffer through this brutal losing streak. The 8-34 Cavaliers have a couple of tough road games ahead against the top four teams in the East, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, and Miami. This losing streak could easily go well into the 20’s.
Cavaliers Head Coach Byron Scott believes that the solution to get his team back on track is simple. “We have to play harder. We have to play smarter. And, we have to be tougher,” Coach Scott said.
“That’s the bottom line.”