Amidst all of the outside noise of trade talk and Charles Barkley running his mouth, the Cavaliers have silenced the masses. Seriously, that crowd in Washington the other night hit mute. What’s the reason behind it all? It’s simple. The team has gotten back to playing basketball and the roots of the game.
The Cavs hit a rut in January. They finished the month 7-8 and it appeared that the wheels were falling off the repeat truck. Well, that’s how it looked from the outside anyhow. Meanwhile, the team identified their weaknesses and grew from within. Newcomer Kyle Korver found his place and the team learned from their mistakes. So while the losing tear was regrettable, it had its silver lining.
The team then got off to a hot start in February, knocking off the Timberwolves before wiping out the Knicks and Wizards consecutively on the road. Their redemption run has gotten them back into the conversation as well. Not that they were ever out, but stories of a possible collapse were sweeping the web just two weeks ago. TopBet lists Cleveland as +250 contenders for the title – something that hasn’t changed despite the team’s rough run.
They’ve been slated to head back to the finals to face Golden State for a third year in a row ever since the season tipped off in October. This hasn’t changed over time.
The team is tied with Golden State and now Washington for the NBA lead with 22 home wins on the year. They also have five more home games this month, only one of which (a showdown with the Pacers) is against an above .500 team. So, the odds are on their side, especially given their motivating start to February.
If the Cavaliers can stay hot, there’s a good chance they could even overcome Golden State in the odds by March. The Warriors face Oklahoma City, Memphis, the Clippers, streaking Wizards and the surprising 76ers through the next three weeks.
So, whether Cleveland can add another stud or not before the deadline, they have the power to reign again. Golden State is headed directly into a February gauntlet, so despite the hate-filled headlines, the Cavs have a great shot to rise once again.