It’s a Cleveland basketball night tonight. Why not start it off here with a Cup of Cavs?
The first sip
The Cavs are in Miami tonight and are looking to cap off a season sweep of the Heat. This feels like an opportune time to reflect on how long a season goes—and how quickly fortunes can change.
These two teams haven’t seen each other since December. Back then, the Cavs were starting to look serious, the Heat were playing without most of The Heat (namely Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo), and the Cavs’ victories directly pushed them past Miami to fourth in the East. They remained ahead for much of the season.
Now it’s March, and the Cavaliers have fallen off their steeds while the Heat have gotten, uhh, hot. Cleveland is on a 3–6 skid and has gone from fighting for the top seed in the East to just above play-in territory. Not only have the Cavs since lost Ricky Rubio, but now we might not see Jarrett Allen again until the postseason.
Meanwhile, Miami has won seven of their last ten and holds a two-game lead over the Bucks for first in the East. Not only are Butler and Adebayo back, but Victor Oladipo has returned to the court too. They’re looking more and more like the Heat that made a Finals run not two years ago.
The tides shift quickly in the NBA, often due to sheer good or bad luck. It’s good to keep that in mind whether the Cavs are flying high or stuck in the mud.