What’s there left to say about the Cavaliers that hasn’t already been said a million times by either myself, local, or national media? Not much. They’re not good. Hell, they aren’t even competitive at this point, at least until last night that is.
Last night the Cavaliers traveled to New Jersey to take on the equally craptastic Nets. Taking one look at the schedule and it was apparent to everyone that this game was their best possible chance to get a win. Unfortunately they weren’t able to seize the opportunity, losing the game in heartbreaking fashion, 103-101. With games coming up against the Celtics, Nuggets, Magic and Heat, it’s safe to say this losing streak is going to continue for a while.
Despite the fact that this team is terrible, it’s hard not to feel sorry for some of the players, especially those that have been here through the good times and helped build the Cavaliers into a 60 game winner. Players like Boobie Gibson, J.J. Hickson, and yes, even Mo Williams have given this team and the city of Cleveland their blood, sweat, and tears. You also have to feel bad for Antawn Jamison. He came to the Cavaliers midway through last season looking to finally compete for a championship for the first time in his career. The opportunity lasted about three months. To his credit and the type of person and player he is, Jamison is still putting up numbers trying to will this team to victory.
While I do feel bad for most of the players, I’m not giving them a free pass on an 8-36 record. They still have to go out and execute. They may be lacking in the talent department, but they shouldn’t be lacking in heart. There is no real reason this team should be losing every game by 15, 20, or 30 points. They’re professionals and by all accounts the games should be competitive. I don’t care who the other team has. Yes, the occasional blowout will happen throughout the course of an 82 game season, but the slippery slope the Cavaliers have been on is discouraging. They’ve become absolutely unwatchable.
That’s why games like last night are so important. On the road against a team that is on equal footing. That is a game you have to win in order to regain some sort of confidence. Instead of getting the job done, the Cavaliers lost the game in heart breaking fashion in the final seconds. I’ve been in situations where it seems like there is no end in sight to the losing. When you finally do see the light and its pulled away like that, it’s even more devastating than a 30 point blowout. Then again for the few veterans the Cavaliers have on the roster, there are just as many young and inexperienced players that have yet to learn how to win at the NBA level.
Of course, the players aren’t stupid either. They know the situation they’re in and probably realize that this was their best chance to get a win and stop the bleeding. Now their next best opportunity isn’t until the beginning of February and only if you believe they can beat the Pacers, Grizzlies, or Trail Blazers. After that the next best chance is probably on the 9th against Detroit or the 13th at home versus the Wizards, a team that is 0 for the season so far on the road this year. What all of that means is a winless month of January… wrap you head around that. A winless month and one win over the course of a two month period. Ouch.
In all honesty, like I’ve said before, this is for the best. The best way to get good in the NBA is to bottom out, hope you win the lottery, and then nail the draft pick with a Lebron James, Kevin Durant, or Tim Duncan type of talent. So far the Cavaliers are 1 for 1 this year. This has to be rock bottom. Now they just have to get a little luck for the first time in what seems like forever and then nail the pick. No pressure.
However, we also have a responsibility as fans and have to find a way to be supportive throughout the rebuilding process. This wasn’t their fault. We all know why the Cavaliers are in this current situation so it is pointless to rehash it. The process has to run it’s course. If after two or three seasons things don’t improve, then it will be time to bitch, moan, and boycott. Until then, Cavalier fans have to show patience and allow the team to rebuild in the proper way. A record of 45-37 and a 7 seed every year is pointless.