Despite their 28 point blowout lost to the resurging Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still among seven teams capable of playing for the NBA title in June.
That’s because the league is so top heavy with talented teams such as defending champions Golden State, the desperate Houston Rockets, the stable San Antonio Spurs and the T-Wolves out West, and the three headed monster of Boston, Toronto and the Cavs in the East, also known as junior circuit.
While many are consumed with Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics our East, they have forgotten about the ultra consistent Toronto Raptors with star DeMar DeRozan and one of the league’s best coaches Dwayne Casey.
There were only two teams that began the week with more than 30 wins, Golden State (33-8) and Boston (33-10). Only three teams has at least 28 victories led by Toronto (28-10), Houston (28-11) and San Antonio Spurs (28-14). The Cavs at 26-14 and the T-Wolves at 26-16 are the other contenders.
Intensifying the Cavs plight is the pending free agency of LeBron James following the season. The Cavs have lost six of its last 10, including a blow out at Boston and the slow burn return of Isaiah Thomas has yet to return the dividends.
If Cleveland is banking on Thomas to solve their problems, they need think again. The Cavs roster is among the oldest in the league. They have been playing with house money considering James rarely if ever gets hurt and has yet to show any signs of decline to his production.
LBJ ranks third in the league in scoring at 27.2, fourth in assist at 9.0, eighth in field goal percentage at 55.8, tied for 12th in steals with 67 and is 21st in rebounds with 8 per game.
Now, I didn’t not get into the most crucial aspect to James, which are his escalating minutes, which always seem to hover around 38 plus minutes per game.
The Cavs never seem to be overly concerned until spring official rolls around, but with back to back games at Toronto on Jan. 11 and Indiana on Jan. 12 before they host Golden State on MLK Day Jan. 15, they best get their act together.