Why are the Cleveland Cavaliers struggling?
The Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, seems like a pair that usually wins games right? Well, they are under .500 as of right now, with a record of 5-6. This definitely isn't the worse record in the league, but for the Cavaliers this is surprising. Cleveland has been a lock for the NBA Finals ever since LeBron James came back, but with the Celtics surging, the Magic surprising people, and of course the Wizards who have called out Cleveland on multiple occasions, should the Cavaliers worry?
So, what exactly is the problem with the Cavaliers so far? Is it the defense? Is it Tyronn Lue? Was it the constant additions that messed up chemistry? Or is it something we don't know? Well, these are my theories on why LeBron's team, hasn't been up to LeBron team standards.
DEFENSE: The Cavaliers have been atrocious on defense, actually the worst in the NBA with a defensive rating of 112.6. What is wrong with the Cavaliers' defense? J.R Smith, the shooting guard for Cleveland for those who don't know, has said that they need to work on defensive communication, which is key to any defense. Some of us hope that the Cavaliers can get this fixed, while Cavalier haters and Warrior fans continue to laugh out loud at these defensive numbers.
TYRONN LUE: It has been a roller coaster of a ride for Tyronn Lue. Tyronn Lue is the coach for this team, and he has been receiving quite a bit of criticism on social media recently. It actually has become a joke, with people saying LeBron James is the actual coach for this team, and it doesn't seem too far-fetched given that they follow every command of his.
Also read: Top 5 NBA head coaches ever
However, my argument for that is you are supposed to give your star player what they want, so they don't leave you later on, but that is a topic for another article. Tyronn Lue was hired in 2014 as associate head coach, but he was promoted to head coach in the middle of the 2015-2016 season to replace David Blatt, who was fired. In Tyronn Lue's first half-year of coaching, he took Cleveland to the Finals and actually won, after the historic 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors.
Tyronn Lue was considered to be one of the best up and coming coaches, but after recent years, fans are thinking he is just riding LeBron James to Finals appearences. This has fans wondering, what can this team accomplish, with an actual head coach?
FINALS HANGOVER: Cleveland has been to the Finals 3 straight years, LeBron has been to the finals 7 years in a row, maybe they are just tired? Getting to the finals that often, and in that short amount of time can be tiring not only physically but mentally as well. You put so much into this game and put so much into each game, that it can just make you feel fatigued. Most fans outside of Cleveland probably don't mind this, with wanting a whole new Finals match-up, instead of LeBron vs the West champions, who will probably be the Warriors for a while with their fun situation they got going on.
THE ABSENCE OF ISAIAH THOMAS: This reason seems pretty realistic, as all the others, but this really makes sense to me. Isaiah Thomas is the main piece the Cavaliers got back in the trade with Kyrie Irving. Who is Isaiah Thomas? Oh, he is just an NBA All-Star, an NBA All 2nd-team member, a top 5 point guard in this league, "Mr. 4th Quarter" and "King of the Fourth" so, he is a pretty big player, despite standing at just 5'9. This could definitely be a huge reason why they are struggling.
NO PROBLEM: Maybe there isn't a big reason, maybe they aren't even really struggling. As I said, it could just be working out the kinks, they could be trying to figure out an identity. This is very realistic too because teams tend to do this.Take the Oklahoma City Thunder's situation right now.
Maybe I am overreacting, and there is no problem with the Cavaliers. Maybe I am a genius and all my reasons are right. Who knows, all we can really do, is sit back, get some popcorn, and continue to watch and love this sport we call basketball.