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3 things the Cleveland Cavaliers must do to get their season back on track after slow start

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have a lot of new players surrounding superstar forward LeBron James this year, but even with that in mind, the start to the 2017-18 season has been a disappointing one.

The defending Eastern Conference champions are 4-5 through nine games and have looked out of sorts, struggling mightily when LeBron is not having an out-of-this-world performance.

If things don't change quickly, the Cavs will be in danger of falling out of the top three in the East, as teams like the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors continue to build upon hot starts.

Coming off a recent four-game losing streak to the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, the Cavs picked up a big win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

The Cavs need to make some big changes if they're going to climb their way back to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Here are three things the Cavaliers can do to start to turn things around after a rough start to the season.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

Figure out Dwyane Wade's role

D-Wade is averaging only seven points in 21 minutes per game so far this year. Yes, it's going to take a while to get him acclimated to his new team, but that's not what the Cavs were hoping for out of the star guard.

Wade could still develop into a great sixth man for the Cavs, but it needs to happen soon or the team is going to continue to struggle.

Wade isn't the same player he once was, but he'll need to find a way to contribute more if he's going to keep earning his playing time.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets

Find someone to replace Tristan Thompson

The Cavaliers' defense has been atrocious so far this year, and now they'll be without center Tristan Thompson for a month or so as he deals with an injured calf.

That's bad news for a team without much size on the roster to begin with. Channing Frye isn't much of a rebounder and Kevin Love is overmatched at center.

Therefore, it may be time to find out what the Cavs have in Ante Zizic - one of the players who came over in the Kyrie Irving trade.

Zizic is a 6'11", 250-pound Croatian big man who is currently averaging only five minutes a game. Zizic could be a force on the glass, and coach Tyronn Lue needs to give him a chance to show what he can do to help his new team.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets

Find a second go-to scorer

Last year, the Cavs had LeBron and Irving that they could count on to score down the stretch in close games.

This year, Irving is in Boston and Cleveland is struggling to find a second player who can create his own shot in the fourth quarter.

Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade aren't the players they were in their prime, and while Kevin Love is a good scorer, he's not a guy who can create a shot off his dribble.

J.R. Smith is the obvious answer, but he's such a streaky shooter that it's tough to count on him when he's not hot.

Finding a second guy to take pressure off of LeBron will be a huge key if the Cavs want to turn things around in the coming weeks.

Topics:
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA Playoffs
Kevin Love

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