Four years ago, the NBA landscape was changed forever. After years of frustrations and disappointments in consecutive NBA finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had finally ended their long wait for an NBA Championship title. With a star-studded team comprising of the “The Big Three” LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first-ever NBA title in 2016. They halted the Golden State Warriors’ dominance. The Cleveland Cavaliers also became the first team in NBA history to overturn a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA final. At long last, they were the new kings of the NBA. Fast forward to 2020, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have regressed from Championship contenders to NBA season strugglers. Fast forward to 2020, and the Cavs are languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and Central Division with a 19-45 win-loss record. The Cavs have not been the same team they used to be since the departures of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in the past two seasons. The Cavs’ miserable season also led to the resignation of Head Coach John Beilein in February after just 54 games in charge. J.B. Bickerstaff has since replaced him.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the second-worst record behind the Golden State Warriors in the NBA so far this season. That is certainly not good enough for a team of the Cavs’ caliber.
We took a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ poor season so far and the performance of the influential players in the team this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ season so far
Cleveland Cavaliers began the season with a 94-85 loss at Orlando Magic in their first game. The Cavs recorded their first win of the season at home against Indiana Pacers in their second game of the season. However, the Cavs failed to maintain any good form and would only go on to claim just a single win in the following five games, giving them a 2-5 win-loss record after the opening seven games of the season. Consecutive wins on the road at Washington Wizards and New York Knicks in the next two games brought a little breath of relief to the team. The decent run will not last long, though, as the Cavs would win only two of their next 18 games. The sole win during that bad period came against Portland Trail Blazers. At this moment, it had become evident that things had taken a turn for the worst because, after 25 games, the Cavs had only managed to win just six times. However, the Cavs were able to redeem themselves and to put together a decent run of victories by ending 2019 on a good note with four wins in the last five games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to maintain their decent finish to 2019 and began the New Year with five consecutive losses before recording two successive wins to end the winless run. Two wins in the next 15 games would eventually cost Head Coach John Beilein his job resulting in his resignation on February 19th after just 14 wins from 54 games this season. It had become clear that the pressure of getting the team back on track had taken a toll on Coach Beilein and that the Cavs were in a hole they could not escape. He ended his tenure as Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach with a 127-105 win over fellow strugglers Atlanta Hawks in his final game.
Coach Beilein’s resignation resulted in the appointment of Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff as the new man in the hot seat. Bickerstaff got off to a winning start as head coach with a 113-108 victory at Washington Wizards. Two more wins in his next three games represented a little sign of improvement under Bickerstaff. However, the inconsistencies have set in again as the Cavs only managed two wins from the last seven games before the suspension of the NBA. Their final match ended in a 108-103 loss at Chicago Bulls.
Positives from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Poor Season so far
The Cavs’ terrible season so far has not affected the performances of some of the players in the team. One of the standout players in the Cavaliers team this season has been Collin Sexton, who has been superb for the Cavs in his second season. The 21-year old Point Guard has averaged 20.8 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game this season.
The likes of Forwards Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr., Center Tristan Thompson, and Point Guard Darius Garland have also been key contributors for the team as well.
Kevin Love has been an integral player once again as he has averaged 17.6 points per game, 3.2 assists per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Larry Nance Jr. has averaged 10.1 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game and 1.0 steals per game.
Tristan Thompson has also averaged 12.0 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 0.9 blocks per game, and 2.1 assists per game.
Rookie Darius Garland has also averaged 12.3 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game.
The big-name acquisition in the Cavs team this season has also lived up to the expectations. Center Andre Drummond has had a massive impact on the side since he arrived from Detroit Pistons earlier this year. He has averaged 17.5 points per game, 11.1 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game in just eight appearances for Cleveland Cavaliers.
What’s next for Cleveland Cavaliers?
The Cavs’ focus will now be on finishing the season on a good note if it resumes anytime soon and rebuilding the team for next season. It will be a long road for the Cavs if this season continues.