Every Sunday morning, I sit down at my computer with my coffee and I try to put together a list of articles about the Cleveland Cavaliers that tells a story about how the team is being viewed outside of Fear the Sword at that given moment. And on every Sunday so far this season, the story has been different. It's not even Christmas yet, but already this team has experienced its share of ups and downs. They've had a four-game winning streak, a four-game losing streak, and an eight-game winning streak. Now they've lost two in a row and there's no telling how long this streak will last.
That's how it goes when a team was mostly put together over one summer. They're inconsistent. But at least they're not boring?
Here's Chris Haynes on Dion Waiters, who is maybe finally starting to understand what his role should be on this team:
Cavs coach David Blatt met with Waiters a few times to address his guard's struggles. Blatt held firm and said what he expected from his best playmaker off the bench. Waiters explained how he felt he would be most effective. They didn't find common ground at the start. "Yeah, we talked," Waiters said. "He said his side of the story and I said mine. It took a while. It took a while for us to actually start getting it."
Jason Lloyd, however, isn't impressed:
Everything Irving has been, Dion Waiters has been the opposite. He hasn't defended as well as the Cavs would like, he wasn't doing what they were asking offensively early in the season and (unlike Irving) he hasn't adjusted well to playing without the ball. As a result, his role has changed a couple of times. It took only three games for coach David Blatt to make Waiters a bench player again, but it still hasn't brought the intended results.
Brian Windhorst wrote about LeBron James being washed up, or something:
The Cavs have been thrilled with James' return on every level. He's been everything to them they hoped he would be from on-court leader to locker room voice to business generator. But team officials have also noticed James is not as electric athletically as they were expecting, especially after offseason weight loss might've refreshed him.
You'll need ESPN Insider for this one, but Tom Haberstroh pointed out that LeBron's numbers this season are almost identical to his numbers during the start of the 2010-2011 season:
Dig around and you'll see James' numbers are way down this season. But it's harder to pin down exactly why this is occurring. It could be the case that James is just getting used to his new (or is it old?) surroundings in Cleveland. As we all know, the 2010-11 Miami Heat didn't get off to a great start, either. James had a big hand in that early struggle. Actually, James shot worse in his first 20 games in Miami (45.8 percent) than he has this season in Cleveland (47.5 percent). Check out the remarkably similar numbers through 20 games in 2010-11 compared to this season.
Jared Mueller of King James Gospel looked at the various issues with the Cavs' defense:
The pain the Cavs feel defensively is due to the lack of this sudden, explosive player. When James is at his best, and not carrying the offense like he was against New Orleans, he can be that player. One is not enough. The Cavs defense will continue to rely on 100% effort, 100% of the time unless they are able to find a space eater in the near future.