If you haven’t heard, the Cavs are currently in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. The offense has stagnated, not scoring more than 95 points at any point during the streak, and the streak has included a 27-point comeback by the Heat, as well as a couple second-half collapses against Boston and Philadelphia. It’s a depressing time to be a Cavs fan. However, it’s not all bad. The following is a list of positive things about the current state of the Cavaliers:
-Kyrie Irving is playing. He won’t be playing back-to-backs, according to Byron Scott, but that still means he’ll only miss an April 10th game against the Pistons. Considering the Cavs offense is averaging 96 points/100 possessions without Irving and was operating at 101.8 points/100 possessions until his injury, I’d say this is a wonderful thing. That, and getting your star back from injury, is usually helpful.
-The Cavs schedule for the rest of the season: nine games, five at home, four against fellow lottery teams. The way I see it, there’s six winnable games left on the schedule: vs. Brooklyn, @ Boston (Both teams are flailing right now), vs. Orlando, vs. Detroit, @ Philadelphia and @Charlotte. Plus, they play the Heat in the second-to-last game of the season, and they should be resting everyone at that point. 30 wins isn’t a possibility, but it’s not inconceivable that the Cavs could end up winning four or five of these games.
-The Cavs haven’t dropped under 30 percent shooting from the field for a game this season. LOOKIN’ AT YOU, CHARLOTTE AND CHICAGO.
-The rest of the schedule is a win/win for the Cavs. Even if they don’t win games, they’re 3.5 games ahead of the Hornets to stay in the top 5 of the draft lottery, and more losses puts them in better position to get a top-5 pick. That’s never a bad thing, even in what should be a weaker draft.
-The Cavs aren’t the Browns. There’s hope.
-The Irving/Miles/Gee/Thompson/Zeller lineup (108 points/100 possessions, 50% eFG% in 153 minutes) is back. This is a good thing. More of this, Byron. Please.
-The Cavs have had two 15-win seasons in franchise history. They’re at 22 wins right now. Things could be worse.
-The Cavs have the league’s longest (26 games in 10-11) and second-longest (23 games in 81-82 and 82-83) losing streaks. Nine straight losses is nothing.
-Daniel Gibson, Luke Walton and Omri Casspi are off the books after this season. We never have to watch them in Cavs uniforms again. 9 more games. We can do this.
-We haven’t had to watch Darius Miles and Ricky Davis play a minute for the Cavs this season.
-With a top-5 draft pick, the Cavs could have their pick of several players that could be major pieces for them. A shot at Otto Porter, Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore would be welcomed.
-Look at Chris Grant’s draft pick stockpile. LOOK AT IT. It’s truly beautiful. The Cavs will have two first-rounders and two second-rounders in June, should have three second-rounders next June and have future first-rounders from the Kings, Grizzlies, and Heat. That’s a TON of future young talent, even if the Cavs strike out on a first-round pick or two. That also gives the Cavs the option to trade for elite talent as well.
-The Cavs gained the Grizzlies first-round pick in exchange for Jon Leuer. They got the Kings pick in exchange for J.J. Hickson. Chris Grant is a wizard.
-The potential starting 5 for the Cavs next season (we’ll say they draft Otto Porter) will be 23. It is 23 because Anderson Varejao skews it by being at least nine years older than everyone else. That’s exciting.
-The Cavs didn’t draft Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely or Bismack Biyombo fourth in 2011. Those were the next three picks after Tristan Thompson. I’m very happy with this decision.
-The Cavs’ cap space this offseason: almost $28 million. For the 2014 offseason, they have no commitments outside of some qualifying offers and team options for Irving, Waiters, Thompson and Zeller. They’ll have plenty of space to extend everyone they want to continue building around AND sign some significant free agents, which is quite relevant as, you know, LeBron is a potential free agent in 2014 maybe.
It may not be much, but it’s something. The Cavs do have positives, even with a 22-51 record and nine straight losses. Granted, a lot of that has to do with the future more so than the present. But, the schedule isn’t too difficult, Kyrie’s back and the offense should flow better. It’s going to get better. Until then, I hope this helped keep spirits up.