On the afternoon of February 5th, the Cavaliers' record stood at 30-20. It had been a remarkable run of 11 straight wins, and the team had finally started firing on all cylinders. That night, the Cavs were going to welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to Cleveland. It was the start of a tough 37 day stretch of games, and it seemed like the team would start to get some real pushback from good teams around the NBA.
Looking at the Cavs schedule between now and March 12, 9-8 might be a good record. Team is rolling, so we will see.— David Zavac (@DavidZavac) February 3, 2015
Instead, the Cleveland Cavaliers continued their stellar play, particularly when all three members of the Big 3 were healthy. They finished the stretch last night with a win over the San Antonio Spurs. Final record over the 17 games: 12-5. One loss came to the Bulls without Kevin Love, one loss came to the Indiana Pacers without LeBron James or Kyrie Irving, and one loss came to the Houston Rockets without Irving.
Since February 5th, the Cavs have the second best net efficiency rating in the NBA, trailing only the Indiana Pacers. Yes, the Indiana Pacers. The Cavs have the NBA's best offense in that stretch, and the 21st best defense. This isn't a reason for panic. The Cavs played some of the NBA's best offenses, sometimes twice, and had quite a few road games. There was a four games in five nights stretch, and a 10 games in 15 nights stretch. They persevered through a tough part of the schedule.
Things get much easier now. The Cavs have 15 remaining games, only five of which are against teams with records over .500. They get two games with the Milwaukee Bucks, and if the Cavs are going to help the Pacers get the 6th seed, thus avoiding a 2-7 matchup in the first round, it would behoove them to win both. They have road games with Orlando and Miami and then finish the season with eight home games and five road dates.
The point? Things get a bit more manageable. The Cavs are out of the woods, so to speak, but things went pretty well in the woods. The priority now is holding onto the two seed, having fun, and staying healthy. The playoffs are around the corner.