Another game, another disappointment. It's becoming the norm for this Cleveland Cavaliers season. The Cavs now sit at 4-12 and it doesn't seem to be getting much better. Mike Brown and the team will continue to preach that it's a process and things are going to get better eventually, but right now it's just tough to watch. With every passing game, I am becoming more convinced that it's going to be a lost season by the time they figure things out. And that's disappointing because the Eastern Conference is such a mess.
There's only so much talk that fans can put up with. At a certain point, you just have to go out and do it. I'm getting tired of hearing Kyrie talk about how he's the leader of this team when he hardly ever shows that on the court. This team needs to turn it around soon, or else I'm going to be spending a lot more time watching Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke than I had anticipated.
After there were rumors about Waiters being a problem in the locker room and possibly on the trading block, he's been a lot more vocal. He's speaking his mind and starting to be more candid. It's nice to see. You can tell that he's getting frustrated. But it's good to see that he isn't ready to give up on his teammates. He knows that they need to figure this out together.
"We gotta be men. We gotta grow up. This is not no little boys league. We can't just turn it around and think it's gonna be easy. This is a man's league so at the end of the day we gotta bring it. Every night everybody gotta be on the same page. It's a team game so at the end of the day we gotta go out there and have each other's backs. No matter what. Losing, winning. We gotta weather the storm. I feel like we can weather it if we just go out here and do what we do."
You can tell that everybody on this team is frustrated. Kyrie has said all of the right things since the beginning of the preseason. He's going to be a leader. He's going to take responsibility. Blah blah blah. Maybe he's doing all of those things behind the scenes, but we haven't seen them. This team is 4-12 and it's going to take a team effort to turn it around.
"We're facing adversity right now. Adversity tends to separate guys at times, but with this team I think we're doing a great job of staying our focus and having that goal in mind. But like I said, it starts with me, I just gotta be a lot better, and I will be better."
I'm still a huge Kyrie fan. I believe that he can help turn this around. But he isn't going to do it by himself. He's not going to get anywhere going 1 on 5.
"Just a lot of growth with this team and it's a long process. We're learning each other's games and just getting used to each other, but we're maintaining our focus, we have a goal in mind and we plan on achieving it."
I'm not sure what that goal is, but it's probably to make the playoffs. Again, if that's going to happen...it needs to start to happen soon.
And finally, there's Coach Brown. Most fans are ready to blame him for the team's shortcomings. That's probably fair. Brown got a ringing endorsement from Jason Lloyd in his recap, but most observers of this team haven't been so kind. Brown's offense isn't creative and it isn't working. But this team also hired assistant coaches...what are they doing?
"Obviously it was not a good performance by us. I thought we let our offense affect our defense tonight. I thought in the first quarter, we went 4-14 on layups, we scored four baskets, got to the rim 14 times. I thought we had great looks and we just couldn't convert. I also felt that we had some great looks in the first half from the three point line. We did a decent job of moving the basketball. We got wide open shots and we ended up missing them, and we in essence, let our lack of offense affect our defense, where they ran out and got some easy baskets and we went away with what our principles or our rules are in transition and even in the half court."
So...pretty much nothing went well last night. Brown was also asked if he felt like he was starting to worry about how effective he could be coaching this team. He's apparently not too worried yet.
"No, to me it's a work in progress. It's gonna be that way the entire year. The biggest thing is if we move the ball and we get some good looks, then for me offensively, I gotta keep moving on, keep moving forward."
I don't disagree that this is going to be a process. It's probably going to take much of the year for the Cavs to turn it around and I think it might be too late when it finally does. Right now, it feels like we're headed towards the kind of season that the Washington Wizards had last year. They were absolutely brutal in the beginning part of the season, but then got things together and played some good basketball later in the year. But they dug themselves too deep a hole early on. That's what this feels like.
It's fine that this is going to take some time. I don't have a problem with understanding that it will be a process. I just wish that this season hadn't been advertised as something different at the beginning of the year. Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert were feeding the fan base an entirely different message before the season started. Are they okay with this team taking time to grow with Mike Brown or are they looking to shake things up right now? Either way, I think it'd be helpful if one of them came out and said something to the fans.
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