To date, the Cavaliers’ season has been defined by adversity with their Game 2 loss being the most recent example of it.
On Tuesday, the Cavs admitted that they could have handled their most recent trial by basketball better and believe they already know how to handle it, even if it’s not the same group that has been in worse situations.
“I think the standard is just really high here,” Kyle Korver said. “Going to the Finals a bunch of years in a row, when things don’t go the way you want them to, there’s a feeling of ‘man, why didn’t that work?’. This year there’s been a lot of turnover. We haven’t had the time as a unit to do what we probably would of liked and so there’s gonna be some mistakes out there. But we just have to learn how to — we don’t need to learn how to, we know how to-- get focused on playing through [frustration], staying positive, next play, next shot and just try to put together runs.”
“It’s been said, it’s felt like a number of seasons in one,” Kevin Love added. “Frustration, it’s always going to happen within a season. It’s 82 games, there’s highs and there’s lows so the expectation is very high here because of the talent that we have, and the group of veterans that we have and what we believe we’re capable of. I think anytime you lose there’s going to be some frustration and ways to get better. Guys need to pick up their level of play, but that’s all the way across the board.”
As refresher, here’s a list of things the Cavs have had happen since the end of last season:
- David Griffin left the team in June with the team struggling to secure a replacement until Koby Altman finally got the job.
- The team traded Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a draft pick.
- Dwyane Wade signed with the Cavs, taking Richard Jefferson’s spot, in a move that not everyone was okay with.
- Thomas didn’t debut until January and was a shell of his former self when he returned. He and LeBron James — much less him and Kevin Love — never got on the same page, nor did he ever seem happy with the Cavs up until he was traded.
- Love broke his hand just before the team overhauled the roster, denying him to time to acclimate with the new pieces.
- Tyronn Lue had to step away due to his health.
There’s more, but that’s sort of the point. The “more” does include Game 2, where the Cavs let a chance to get the road win they’ll need to advance to a fourth straight NBA Finals. fall out of their grasp. In the loss, the Cavs were outscored by 14 points in the third quarter after leading by seven points in the half. As Lue put it earlier this week, the Cavs played like a team down 25 points — just holding for dear life — instead of a team still in the game with the best player in the world on its side.
But this is the team with LeBron James. With him, there’s still a chance to come back from down 2-0. Perhaps returning home will help. Winning a game in this series, however it happens, would help the Cavs.
“It’s been a challenge for us all year,” Korver said. “We’ve just got to stay positive. I think being at home will help, having a home crowd behind us. We have great fans and I’m sure they’re going to come out tomorrow.”