Before this season started, almost everyone was sure: Cleveland, with their new acquisitions, would have an easy path to yet another NBA Finals. They would be a much deeper team with Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Jeff Green and superstars Dwayne Wade and Isaiah Thomas (when healthy).
This Cavs team seems very odd on the floor together. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this team; The possibility that Lebron will leave, Kevin Love who is on the trading block every single year, the whole front office situation surrounding the draft and the handling of Kyrie. And that was all before the season started. Then, all of a sudden Kevin Love got moved to the Center position (which has already been reversed). Dwayne Wade moved into the starting lineup, replacing J.R. Smith (also reversed) and Jae Crowder replaced Tristan Thompson. Still following it? Those are 3 players that helped the Cavs win a championship, who probably feel very uncomfortable and might even have lost trust in their coach and the whole organization. And let’s not forget: Lebron basically runs the franchise. So how much trust do they still have in him and if he still wants to with them.
I think that 99 percent of the struggles the team is going through has to do with the things mentioned above. And that leads to one question: Did Kyrie make the right decision with leaving Cleveland and did he see these troubles coming?
On paper, the roster is very deep and is as talented as ever. But when I see this team together, they remind me of one team: the 1999 Houston Rockets. They added Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen to play together with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley and they also had a talented team, with a lot of shooters (Michael Dickerson and Cuttino Mobley for example) and rugged veterans like Antoine Carr, Matt Bullard and Brent Price.
(If you like you can compare the 2 rosters next to each other and you will see the similarities).
The reason that I am comparing these teams is because the 1999 Rockets had the same level of talent and the expectations were just as high for that team as it is for the Cavs now.
But there were a lot off court issues and they had the same rotation problems the Cavs have now. That team played only one year together, before it got broken up.
Maybe the Cavs will find their groove and get their game together, as the 12th place in the Eastern Conference is below them, and let us not forget that they have the King on their roster who refuses to lose.