Cleveland Cavaliers: Beneath the Surface

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Cleveland Cavaliers: Beneath the Surface
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Cleveland Cavaliers.

Entering Tuesday, they stand with a 62-15 record, easily on pace to tie the 2007-08 Celtics' 66-16 mark.

It's a good looking record on the outside because very few teams hit the 60-win mark in a given season. Heck, there have been seasons where no team cracks 60.

But beneath the surface, there is something that could be a little alarming to Cavalier fans:


That is their record against the other three teams that are inevitably bound for 60 wins this year. Now these are not postseason games, but you have to agree that these are as close to postseason games as you can get.

Now, having a 60-9 record against the other 27 teams in the league is very impressive, no matter what league you're playing in. But those other 27 teams are not going to be the teams that LeBron and Co. are going to be seeing past the semifinals.

They're going to be seeing the likes of the Boston Celtics, who the Cavs are 1-2 against. Or the Orlando Magic, who have given the Cavs the most trouble out of anyone in the East. Cleveland is 1-2 against the Magic, and both losses have been by wide margins (11, 29), with the most recent one including Orlando building a 41-point lead in the second half.

And in the Finals, a possible matchup for Cleveland is the Los Angeles Lakers, who—you guessed it—are a perfect 2-0 versus the Cavs. Not only did they give Cleveland their only home loss this season, but they did it convincingly, with a 101-91 victory.

Five of the six losses against the big three have been by double digits. Now throw in the 0-5 road record and, well, let the doubts begin.

I've heard how it's just the regular season and the postseason is completely different, so their past postseason experience will carry them through it.

Well why don't you try telling that to the 2007 Mavericks who were upset in first round, after coming within two wins of the championship the season before! What makes the Cavs any different? Dallas had 67 wins that season and had the NBA MVP (LeBron will deservingly get the MVP).

And my personal favorite: How they're overachievers in the playoffs. Well, aside from being swept out of the Finals a couple years ago, they haven't even been out of the second round in the LeBron era.

But they are a talented enough team to get out of the East and maybe win it all, but if they play like a 2-6 team against the big boys of the NBA, they won't even come close.


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