NBA Analysis: Why Are Cavaliers This Bad?

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With Nick giving some extended thoughts this morning on the progress of the city of Louisville’s positioning for an NBA team, I’m going to keep my weekly ramblings on the NBA somewhat to a minimum, but I did want to briefly discuss the NBA storyline that has caught my attention perhaps more than any other this season:

The epic terribleness of the Cleveland Cavaliers

I think everybody was on board in declaring Dan Gilbert’s assertion that the Cavs would win a title before the Heat utterly ridiculous, but I don’t think anybody realized it turn out to be this ridiculous.

Remember a few months ago when people were still hypothesizing that Cleveland could sneak into the playoffs? It didn’t seem all that far-fetched when they got off to a 4-3 start, and eventually sat at 7-9 following a win over the Grizzlies on November 27. Demoralizing beatdowns at the hands of the Boston Celtics and LeBron’s Miami Heat quickly followed, sending them into a nine game losing streak.

They bounced back briefly with an OT win over the Knicks, but then fell promptly into an NBA-record 24 game losing streak that has seen them reach previously unseen levels of awful.

Since 11/27, they are 1-33. I don’t know if I can even fully grasp that. They’ve lost some close games here and there, but 14 of those defeats have come by double digits and many by much, much more.

Including their comparably stellar 7-9 start, they are 27th in the league in points per game, 26th in points allowed, and 27th in rebounding. They have nary a player even in the realm of being All-Star caliber. They have one active player that is shooting better than 47.6% for the season (Ryan Hollins, who doesn’t even take three shots a game). They have no stars and few trade pieces. Unless they draft a LeBron-level savior sometime soon, they don’t figure to contend for anything more than last place for the next five years. I almost have to think that their fans will be happy when there is a lockout, just so they aren’t compelled to watch them any longer.

Any game they win this season will be a surprise and the only thing keeping them from being called the worst team of all time is their mediocre start, and thank goodness for that.