Should We Be Concerned About The Cavaliers Defense?

It’s two weeks into the NBA Season. The cause for concern for teams should be minimal and the hands should still be far away from the panic button. NBA seasons are not won and lost in October. Sometimes, they don’t even tell the story of how the season will go. They do however, give us a chance to see where improvements must be made. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, their answer is simple: Defense.

The Cavs started the season 3-1, but have since dropped their last three contests. A three game losing streak is nothing worrisome for a team with Lebron James on it. The King even noted that in his post game press conference that it is only October. And yes, the Cavs are still awaiting the return of Isaiah Thomas, and are not at full strength just yet. The problem is that Cleveland is doing well in the areas where Thomas helps. They are averaging 105 points a game and 21 assists per contest as a team. Thomas will help, and will allow Lebron to move away from the Point Guard position, but he will not solve their defensive woes.

In their four losses this year, Cleveland has given up 114, 1112, 123 & 114 points. They even gave up 112 in a win to a Chicago Bulls team that has only managed to score 100+ one other time, and his averaging 89 points a game in the young season. It’s a small sample size, but these are bad numbers for a team that has their eyes set on an NBA title.

Tyronn Lue has attributed some of the early season struggles to chemistry, as a new team gets adjusted playing with one another. That is completely fair to an extent, but the new additions aren’t exactly defensive specialists. Dwyane Wade is not the defender he once was and Derrick Rose can’t keep anyone in front of him. Furthermore, additions like Jeff Green and Jae Crowder have slid Tristan Thompson, one of their best defensive rebounders, further down on the bench.

When Gordon Hayward suffered his horrific injury, many dubbed the Cavs favorites to win the East, if they weren’t already crowned. Right now though, the Cleveland Cavaliers are not playing like a championship team. Championship teams don’t give up 110+ points to the Nets and Knicks within a week. Change does need to be made if Cleveland wants to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Fortunately we’re turning to the calendar to November, not April.

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