In one of the more comedic moments of the 2012-13 NBA regular season, head coach Byron Scott provided an early "press conference of the year" candidate. Scott answered a cell phone mid-interview and brought about laughter from the reporters at hand.
Unfortunately, he also forgot about the Cleveland Cavaliers' serious problems.
Before we get into the issues with the Cleveland squad, it's important that we note how irrational it would be to get upset with Coach Scott. After all, his actions do not reflect his level of interest in the Cavaliers as a squad.
They simply proved there is reason to enjoy the ride with such a young core. A core that is soon to progress.
After you've enjoyed a quick laugh, redirect your focus to the issues at hand. Believe you me, there are more than enough to go around.
The Cavaliers are just 4-16. They have lost eight of those games by at least 10 points.
Furthermore, Cleveland has faced defeat in four straight games. Just a small piece of a stretch that includes losses in 14 of their past 16 games.
It's just one of those seasons.
Anderson Varejao's Lack of Support
Thus far in 2012-13, Anderson Varejao is averaging 14.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Furthermore, Varejao has tallied at least 15 rebounds in 14 of his first 19 appearances.
Even still, the Cavaliers can't seem to buy a win.
The reason for this is the frustrating fact that there is not enough production to support his efforts. The team lacks a consistent go-to scoring option and is without their leader, point guard Kyrie Irving, due to injury.
Until this team begins to perform at a more consistent level, Varejao will be nothing more than the most productive player on a flat-out terrible team.
With that being said, it is not Coach Scott's fault that the Cavaliers don't have a strong enough supporting cast to make the most of Varejao's All-Star-caliber numbers. That rests on upper management.
What else does owner Dan Gilbert expect to happen when C.J. Miles and a pair of rookies are the Cavs' top offseason acquisitions?
Kyrie Irving Still Absent
When the Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the hype surrounding the team was a result of reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. After missing 15 games due to injury in 2011-12, however, Irving has already fallen victim to an ailment.
The former Duke Blue Devil has been absent since November 17th with a broken left index finger (via ESPN).
Unfortunately, anxiety doesn't lead to an earlier full recovery. Scott said:
I know he's anxious. We're not going to take any chances. We'll leave it up to the doctors. He has to get at least one practice in. The chance of him coming back early, I don't know.
Rushing back from injury certainly isn't an option. Irving has an extensive history with injuries and the risk of his aggravating previous injuries is a severe reality.
The painful act of patience is the only route to take.
With all of this being established, it is clear that the Cavaliers are far from reaching their level of internal expectations. The postseason is but a dream, at this point, and it appears the team is more likely to be in the running for the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
Maybe a moment of levity is what is needed in Cleveland, after all.