Thursday, January 11, 2007

The state of the team (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Obviously, if you're a Cavs fan, you know where the team stands right now. But this is a new chapter of The BBC, so I've got to start fresh.

Historically, the Cavaliers are a streaky team. Fortunately, the Cavs opened up this season with a win streak against some rather formidable opponents, including Washington, San Antonio, and Chicago. They opened up with a 7-2 record.

Then came the losing streak. The Cavaliers lost 5 of their next 8 games, their record slipping to 10-7.

Back and forth it went, as a win streak came next. Cleveland won 4 of their next 5 games, but followed it up with three straight losses, including a humiliating defeat at home against Detroit. They stood at 14-11, in my opinion a VERY crappy record for a team that came a rebound away from the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

But since that loss against the Pistons, the Cavaliers have lost just one game, while winning eight. This is clearly the highest point of the season, and it shows in the standings. The Cavs are leading the Eastern Conference by a game (and leading the NBA Champion Miami Heat by a full 7 games). The Cavs even knocked off San Antonio again, sweeping the season series from the NBA's third-best team.

If you pay attention to the local sportscasters, you've heard all the discussion about this being a crucial 7-game west-coast swing for the Wine and Gold. Tuesday night, we started off on the right foot, taking down Sacramento by ten points.

Later tonight, the toughest game of the road trip takes place. The Cavs travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns, who stand at 26-8 and 15-3 at home. This one is not supposed to go our way....but if it does, it is a huge step towards greatness and the Cavs need this. Believe it or not, a win over the Suns sets us up for a 7-game sweep on the road trip. Only one team left on the trip has a record over .500 (Denver, at 17-16).

So I will be firmly planted in front of the screen at 1030 Thursday night. This game could be the building block upon which a championship is built. Or it could be another dagger in the heart. Chances are it'll be neither, but it has potential.....

UPDATE - The Cavs remain a game ahead of Orlando, and extend their lead over Detroit to 1.5 games. The Pistons lost last night to home. The Hornets are now 10-23. They were 3-12 on the road heading into the game, and the Pistons lost to them. Folks, Detroit is reeling, having lost 5 of their last 7 games. NOW is the time to bury them. Win this huge game tonight, and you begin to put some distance between the two teams.


Lake Erie Hope said...

I'm with you on the optimism of this road trip...but we need to be realistic when it's all said and done, don't we? The NBA - more then any other pro sport - is tough to win on the road, no matter what the team's record is. 7-0 would be amazing...but we also need to realize that we should still be happy with 4-3 or anything above .500 on this trip.

Especially the way the Cavs have played on the road for most of the season...

Jeff Seemann said...

Yes, I do agree with your point on road games in the NBA.

My line of thought was that we COULD win all 7 because the last 5 teams are not the cream of the crop.

But you are right.