It is no secret things aren’t going too well in Cleveland as of late, the Cavaliers are 3-9 in their last 12 games since losing to the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.
Their already leaky defense has been borderline historically bad over the past few weeks, and the Cavaliers were embarrased on national TV Saturday to the tune of a 148-124 drubbing by the OKlahoma CIty Thunder at home.
Doubts have been growing louder and louder around the league and from fans and media as the Cavaliers appear like a wounded animal and not the team that has made three straight NBA Finals.
Those doubts have reached the team as well, including their leader LeBron James.
Here is what he told Dave Mcmenamin of ESPN:
“Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
He is right, this team has no chance of returning to the NBA Finals for a 4th straight season or even having much success the rest of the regular or postseason if they keep playing defense at this level.
They are currently ranked 29th in the NBA in total defense, no team in NBA history has ever even made the postseason with a defense that bad, much less an NBA Finals appearance.
While the Cavaliers issues are real and severe, it is January and the Cavaliers still have plenty of time to at least learn how to communicate better and play defense on a league average level and incorporate Isaiah Thomas effectively.
They also are active on the trade market and could cash in their best future chip in Brooklyn’s 2018 1st round pick in order to get a difference maker on the defensive end like DeAndre Jordan for instance.
As always, the microscope will be focused on the Cavaliers for the next few months as the NBA season reaches its apex and the 2018 off-season looms.