After struggling season after season since LeBron James left Cleveland, the Cavaliers were determined to make a serious impact this season.
But, for now, it seems that this season will be the same as every other since LeBron departed for the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers are currently 5-12, and are far away from play-off picture, with Detroit currently seeded at number eight in the East with seven wins and ten losses.
Cavaliers had successful summer. First, they were winners of the Draft lottery, and they got the number one pick, using it to select Anthony Bennett, the Canadian player who played college basketball at UNLV.
After the draft, they also signed Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bynum and Earl Clark. Jack and Clark had successful campaigns last season, Jack with the Golden State Warriors where he established himself as one of the best sixth men in the NBA, and Clark with Los Angeles Lakers.
Adding these three players along with Bennett to guys like Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, C.J. Miles and Tyler Zeller, you really get a team that should be big part of the play-offs - if they figure out how to play together.
But it looks like they just can't. So who to blame for Cavs' bad performances this season?
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving took the full responsibility for his team play: “I’m taking full responsibility of all this.
“I’m the head of the snake of all this. I’ve just got to be better. I’ve got to do more,'' said Irving.
Irving is averaging 20.6 points this season, as well as 5.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds. The problems are his turnovers, which he has 3.2 per game, but only adds one steal, which is not enough.
He also has a bad shooting percentage, as he's shot just 40 per cent from the field. Kyrie is just in his third year as a pro, but he made the All-Star team last year, and that gives you certain responsibilities, especially in being a go-to guy for your team every game.
And that is where the Cavs have a problem. Irving's inconsistency is just too big, one game he can put an MVP performance, but the next night he would shoot 20 per cent from the field and be the reason for his team's loss.
We can also blame the coach. Mike Brown had a lot of success in Cleveland during the LeBron era. The key to the success was, besides having the best player in the NBA on your roster, that he figured out the system that would fit every player on the team, no matter if this player was a rookie or a veteran leader.
This year, Brown just quite can't do that, and the supporting cast is not at the level they are expected to be. Anthony Bennett is playing extremely badly, Jarrett Jack is not the same player he was with Warriors, Andrew Bynum is still getting back from injury that sidelined him for the whole 2012-2013 season, and Dion Waiters looks like he wants to be traded.
With injury trouble, the Cavaliers weren't able to improve team chemistry, especially on the floor, before start of the season. This may be the biggest problem of all, maybe they just don't know how to play together.
But that's why every team has a coach, and Mike Brown has still a lot of work to do before the Cavs will start winning. It's still early in the season, and they can still make the play-offs this season, but they will need to make some adjustments before it becomes too late.
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