The Cleveland Cavaliers came into the season with sky-high expectations. As a young team on the rise they were supposed to build on last season's 51 wins and potentially challenge the best teams in the Eastern Conference in the regular season standings. With their added shooting, playoff success was expected to follow.
Those expectations aren't completely gone, but it has certainly been a rockier start to the season than the Cavaliers were hoping for. Injuries have played their part, but there has also been a failure of some players to meet the expectations placed upon them.
In some cases, not living up to expectations has consequences for the player more so than the team; for key players, the team's trajectory or ceiling changes if they continue to play at a level below their goal. Let's look at three players who are all failing to live up to expectations in their own unique way, and see what that means for the team as a whole.
No. 3: Damian Jones
Damian Jones is not a name that most Cavaliers fans had at the tip of their tongues when discussing the Cavaliers' outlook for the season, but the front office and coachign staff had high expectations for the journeyman big man. One of the biggest feathers in the cap of NBA franchises is when they can bring in a player who has failed elsewhere and turn him into a success.
Jones has been anything but a success thus far in Cleveland. He is such a negative on offense that his decent defensive chops are not enough to keep in the rotation even as the third center, instead falling behind a veteran in Tristan Thompson who was entirely out of basketball last season. He is scoring just six points per 36 minutes, one of the lowest marks in the league, and his turnover percentage of 31.1 percent is staggeringly bad.
Jones is likely to be waived during the season if the Cavs need to sign another player, or to be tossed into a trade to help match salaries. He has gone from a targeted addition via trade this summer to an afterthought and fallen well short of internal expectations.