I’ll repeat that… What the hell are the Cavs doing?
As I type this at 7:45 pm central time, the Cavs are beating the Raptors by a score of 70-51 with 5 minutes left in the third. Going into tonight’s game they had the worst record in the league and the best odds of obtaining the #1 pick in the draft. If the current scores hold up, the Cavs will be tied with Minnesota for the worst record.
It just so happens that this is the same day Duke point guard Kyrie Irving declared he will be leaving school early to enter the draft. Apparently the Cavs didn’t get the memo because they feel it necessary to win a meaningless game against the Raptors. Seriously, has no one in the Cavs front office made it clear what is at stake here? This is already a weak draft class according to a lot of scouts and different scouting reports I’ve read. Throw in the fact that Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes have said they plan on returning to school and the talent pool gets even weaker. That leaves four impact players, Irving, Perry Jones, Derrick Williams, and Terrence Jones, and then everyone else.
So you say to me, “But if we get the second worst record that’s still good. We can still get one of those guys.” While yes, your logic is true, there is also an added wrinkle thrown in. A caveat if you will. With the NBA lottery the team with the worst record isn’t guaranteed the top pick, but they are guaranteed a top 4 pick. Now go back and read that list of players again. Yup, that’s four players. If you get the second worst record your guaranteed no lower than the 5th pick. So what happens if the Cavs finish ahead of Minnesota, get the 5th pick in the draft and miss out on one of the elite players and need to take an unproven foreign player or a college kid with a butt load of question marks? Exactly…. the Cavs get screwed. That is why it is crucial that the Cavs lose these remaining games, not win them by 20+ points.
Heading into the 4th the Cavs are now leading the Raptors by 12. If they know what’s good for them they’ll take their foot off the gas pedal and let the Raptors take the game over. If they don’t they risk drastically hurting the future of the organization. Chris Grant needs to get on the emergency hotline and tell Byron Scott to mail it in. Don’t mistake me here, I love the Cavs and I hate watching them lose, but I also hate watching them throw away their future potentially. I hope I’m wrong, but the Cavs might be making a huge tactical mistake as we speak. I also hope the Timberwolves start helping the situation by doing what’s smart and winning.
LET’S GO RAPTORS!!!
Update: The Cavs decided to try and blow a 20 point lead, give the entire city hope that they would find a way to lose the game, and then hang on to win it anyways. Couple that with Minnesota losing to the Suns and the Cavs are officially a half game back in the race for worst record. Minnesota is tied for us with wins, but has one more loss at this point. They’ve also lost 12 in a row so I doubt they plan on winning again any time soon. Great… good job, Cavs.