Wow. What was that? 25 losses in a row? Wait, what? Now it’s 26?
The Cavaliers can’t seem to get their collective gears in order, as is apparent by that loss against the Pistons (and, uhh, 25 losses preceding it).
Give the kids credit: They scrapped and clawed and battled their young, inexperienced and, in some cases, D-League-worthy hearts out, at one point cutting a Detroit deficit to three points before ultimately losing by 11.
Stop. Stop. No, seriously dude, take the gun out of your mouth—it’s going to be okay. Seriously. I promise; seriously, just put the gun down.
It’s painfully obvious that the Cavs are a shell of their former, LeBron-lead selves. I don’t think there’s anybody in America that would dispute this: They’ve effectively become the NBA’s equivalent to a battered and abused dog at this point, shaking and whimpering in the corner, a patch here, a bruise there (sorry for the imagery…ugh).
They’ve lost 36 of 37 for chrissakes; that’s four games short of an entire half season!
So, yeah, if the initial shock of their futility is surprising to anybody—and I’ll admit that it was to me for a while—they should probably get over it.
Nothing’s changing this year; accept that we aren’t in contention, that we no longer have a player capable of producing a highlight-reel play on a nightly basis and that we are, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant (and it sucks to be irrelevant. I miss the attention that LeBron used to bring more than anything; it felt like we had something that other people wanted).
Because that’s what it’s gonna be like for the next season or two.
That’s step one: Accepting the reality of what’s at hand.
Now that we’re (hopefully) all past that, we can look towards the future, because it’s definitely better than what we’re watching right now. There’s talent on this roster; pieces that, if supported by solid coaching, scouting and roster moves, could really contribute to good teams moving forward.
You know some of the guys I’m talking about: Christian Eyenga is the poster boy of every Cavs fan’s optimism (his athleticism is amazing) and J. J. Hickson’s potential has been touted for what’s felt like years now; although his first two and a half years haven’t been the smoothest, his play for the better half of the current season is very encouraging.
There are other reasons to be optimistic, though; Ramon Sessions is having a solid year, and his play continues to improve as Coach Byron Scott gives him more playing time. His current numbers sit at 11.7 points and 5.4 assists per game, and through the past five games, he’s been averaging 19.8 points and 10.4 assists per.
For his career, he’s averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 assists on about 24 minutes a game; not All-Star caliber numbers, but around the same rate as Raymond Felton when he played for the Bobcats.
Sessions is talented, puts up numbers and is still only 24 years old—definitely a positive asset to have moving forward.
Let us not forget Daniel Gibson, currently having the best year of his career, and he’s only 24 (25 at the end of February); not saying that he’ll evolve into a Ray Allen type of player, but people seem to forget how dangerous Gibson can be.
And then there’s Manny Harris. He’s had a couple of decent games, scoring 20 points on a couple of occasions.
Point is, there’s talent on this roster. At the very least, the roster we currently have has at least three legitimate players that have the capability of starting and, with a bit of luck, thriving in the league.
And they are all 24 years or younger; there is definitely reason to be optimistic here.
With some smart draft picks and good coaching (remember that Byron Scott has overseen two successful rebuilding projects in New Jersey and New Orleans), the Cavs future looks like something to be optimistic about.
As a fan base, we have every reason to be upset about the current state of the team; that shouldn’t hinder our perception of what’s to come, though.