Cleveland Embarrassed by Golden State
It’s just one game in an eighty-two game season, right? The Golden State Warriors have lost four games all year, so their 132-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers should not affect either team, right? And Cleveland has won their next two games so everything is happy and back to normal, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This loss showed some flaws for a Cleveland team that considers itself a contender.
Kevin Love has improved his rebound rate from 11.5 to 13.6 this season, and genuinely seems more invested and playing harder. However, that Martin Luther King Jr. game put into focus Love’s flaws. He’s still a horrendous defensive player--cue Steph Curry and Draymond Green pick and roll--and is still shooting a poor 41% from the field. The Warriors exposure of Kevin Love has put a big question on the table, should the Cavs trade Kevin Love?
Love is in the first year of a 5 year, 110 million dollar contract, but there would still be plenty of suitors if Love was put on the trading block. Would a package of picks and young players from Boston work? Maybe a swap with Portland to get C.J. McCollum? Markieff Morris and Devin Booker plus cap filler from Phoenix? Cleveland would have to consider these offers, but, should they change course just because of one blowout?
The answer is two-fold, yes, that loss exposed some flaws, but with Golden State and San Antonio cruising through the league, should the Cavs really blow up their future--Kevin Love is still only 27. Patience is the word here, this team was clicking before Love and Kyrie Irving’s injuries last year, and Kyrie has just gotten back to playing full-time in the past few weeks.
This team is still the heavy favorite in the Eastern Conference. And getting to the Finals should be the goal right now. And yes, it may take some luck to beat either the Warriors or the Spurs, but everyone was saying the same thing last year and the Cavs were right in that Finals series. This team is close, and more importantly, LeBron James is still LeBron James, that will still scare anyone in the NBA--even the Warriors and Spurs.
UPDATE: Forget everything, David Blatt was fired. I guess Dan Gilbert wants to see more out of this team--besides being in 1st in the Eastern Conference. In other words, GM LeBron is in full force, his buddy Tyronn Lue is now the new Cavs coach. This should be interesting...
*Stats and Info courtesy of Basketball Reference and ESPN