With the Cleveland Cavaliers off to a sluggish 3-5 start, Dwyane Wade drew some parallels between this team and the Miami Heat squad that reached its fourth straight NBA Finals during the 2013-14 season.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Wade said that Heat team was like being in a "bad marriage" because the roster was filled with "guys who'd been around each other for four years in a row" and "jokes weren't funny no more."
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According to Dwyane Wade, the Cavs will have an extremely difficult road to get back to the Finals for a fourth straight season. #Cavs https://t.co/E15ngDCF932017-11-2 17:18:58
That Heat team defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference playoffs before losing the NBA Finals in five games to the San Antonio Spurs.
Following that season, LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers and has guided them to three straight appearances in the NBA Finals. He led them to the franchise's first NBA championship by defeating the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
The Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in the offseason. Isaiah Thomas, who was part of the package acquired in the Irving deal, has been unable to play due to a hip injury. Cleveland's defense currently ranks last in efficiency with 113.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, per Basketball-Reference.
Four of Cleveland's five losses this season have come by at least 17 points. Only the Chicago Bulls (1-5) and Atlanta Hawks (1-7) have worse records than the Cavs in the Eastern Conference.