Friday, December 11, 2015

Cliff's Edge 12.11.15: Quarter-Tank of Gas #Cavs

By @CLG2282

We're at a pivotal point the in this NBA season. Many people will frown at that statement alone. However, if we are being honest, a fourth of the way through the season can give valuable insight.

Just look at the attention and hysteria the Golden State Warriors are pulling in. As I've said in the past, you can not win a championship at this stage but you can definitely lose it. Take the Warriors inverse for instance, the Philadelphia 76ers. Philly is on yet another historically terrible pace.

Like anything else, you have your two extremes and then everything else in the middle. So where do the Cleveland Cavaliers line up thus far? I would still say somewhere in the top tier of competitors. I'll even take it a step further and rank them at #3 in my own personal power rankings. Because you know, my system holds major weight in these sports streets.


The Cavs are in line behind obvious powerhouses Golden State and San Antonio (who are a lot closer to the Warriors than most will give them credit for). That being said, there is a lot of belly aching going on over a team with a .666 winning percentage. To be honest, it's probably only because the Warriors have not lost.

We all know what Cleveland is capable of and the talent they have. So when another team is on a historical pace and still undefeated, fans tend to complain about not being on that same pace.  Let's not all forget, however, that this team was under .500 through the holiday season last year and LeBron had a knee issue.

What is it exactly that is upsetting and frustrating some Cavs fans? A team that has twice the amount of wins as they have losses. A team that is missing, arguably, their second best player in Kyrie Irving.  Really?

The Cavs are down two (very important by the way) starters with Irving and Shumpert recently returning to full practice mode. Now how many teams do you think would still be playing relatively well minus their 2nd leading scorer and best perimeter defender?

Take Thompson and Barnes from the Warriors or Leonard and Parker from the Spurs and I'm quite sure there would be some noticeable changes in the team's play. It may sound a little repetitive but Cavs fans have to relax. They still lead the division and the conference for that matter. The Cavs seem to be weathering the injury storm fairly well.

The current available players have been banged up but they are managing to hold down the fort. JR Smith missed a few games, as well as Mo Williams. Having guys out of games has resulted in some lackluster performances from the squad.

With the return of Shumpert and Irving, comes depth. In fact, having those two back in the lineup likely means the Cavs become the deepest team in the league. There is murmuring that Kyrie and Iman may in fact return to the Cavs lineup during the up coming two-game road swing. Which would be refreshing news. No matter when they return, the boost in scoring and defense will definitely be much needed and noticable.  Fresh legs for the second half of the season is also something that you can't be mad at.

We saw this before last year. Dealing with the chemistry and conditioning for the first half of the season, then making a tear through the competition in the second half of the season. By the time the all-star break rolls around, the team should be poised to make a run.

So let's not get out of shape about the here-and-now and remember the bigger picture.  We aren't in it for a good first half or necessarily the best record. We're in it for the long haul. To win a championship. If things don't improve by February, then be upset.

But until then, trust the process.

As always, #GoCavs

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