The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in the basement all season long, carrying an NBA-worst record of 9-35 thus far. Could they be as bad as the 2010-11 edition of the team, however?
That’s the question one can hypothetically ask, as the situations are similar. Both teams are in the post-LeBron James era. Both have gone on double-digit losing streaks. And to be frank, both lacked a ton of talent on the roster.
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One of the only differences would be that the first post-LeBron era had no rookie point guard to groom immediately. The 2010-11 Wine and Gold squad had to suffer through 63 defeats before lucking into then-Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. Meanwhile, a first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets gave the Cavaliers a chance to take Alabama point guard Collin Sexton in hopes of kickstarting a rebuild immediately.
Sexton’s development this season hasn’t worked out to perfection and the pieces around him obviously haven’t helped his maturation as a professional. That, along with other factors, leads me to ask the following question: Who would win in a game between the 2010-11 team and the current roster?
For a hypothetical breakdown, we’ll take the starting five that had the most starts at their respective positions nine years ago and put them up against the five players who have started the most this season for Cleveland.
To start things off, we’ll take a look at the floor generals for each team.
For the current squad, it’s the eighth overall pick, Collin Sexton. Sexton’s strengths to his game are his ability to burst to the basket, his durability, and his tenacity on the defensive end. When the Cavaliers selected Sexton, they knew they were getting a true gamer. He’s someone who embraces the grind to the top and is willing to get better in all areas.
Currently, Sexton’s averaging 14.6 points, three rebounds, and 2.8 assists per contest.
But he’s still green at the NBA-level and that has also been on display. Getting lost with switches and not being able to hit the perimeter or mid-range shots at a consistent rate is concerning when long-ball offense has become the main focus in the league nowadays. It wouldn’t hurt him too bad against his counterpart, that being Ramon Sessions.
Sessions, on the other hand, was a 24-year old who never wowed anyone with a scoring ability or blazing speed. He was a guy who did his job and handled business on the floor at a serviceable level, nothing higher than that.
Sessions was acquired by the Cavaliers in the summer of 2010 right after the departure of James. He was expected to be the team’s starting point guard and make a jump from his third season in the NBA.
While he split time with Mo Williams, he did earn 13.1 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 81 games, 38 of them starts for the Cavaliers. He didn’t test the waters behind the arc at all, which would even out the games between him and Sexton for the most part.
Both being young, it would be an intriguing battle. But Sexton’s speed and competitive nature may give him the edge here.