The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to an ugly 4-7 start, and it’d be worse if not for a 4th quarter rally and overtime win on the road against Washington Saturday night. The Cavaliers came into the season with playoff expectations, led by their budding star at point guard, Kyrie Irving, but offensively-challenged Cleveland has been an unmitigated disaster.
27th in PPG (92.5)
28th in true shooting percentage (49.2%)
29th in FG percentage (41%)
29th in offensive efficiency (92.7)
Their coach, Mike Brown, was fired in the first week of the season last year in LA, and it appears he’s struggling to provide leadership for the Cavaliers already. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, this happened after a blowout loss Wednesday to the Timberwolves:
"Mike Brown entered the locker room to begin his postgame speech when Kyrie Irving interrupted and asked him to leave the room so the players could talk. Brown was happy to do so and Irving started things off."
Oh? After that, the rundown is bizarre, complete with disappearing Dion Waiters, who was the team’s lottery pick in 2012 and isn’t off to a hot start this year. Waiters has vanished, literally:
"No one on the team has really seen or heard from Waiters since Wednesday’s game. He didn’t attend Friday’s shootaround because of this illness and didn’t make the trip to Washington for tonight’s game. No one I talked to really knows how sick Waiters is or what all this is about."
Injuries have led to disjointed starting lineups, and the result is a lack of chemistry. So perhaps all of this is fixable?
"Andrew Bynum is starting without really practicing with the starters. C.J. Miles has started the last two games at shooting guard without really practicing. Earl Clark shifted to power forward tonight without any practice there."
The struggles of No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett have been well-documented, as well. The real question is whether or not the Cavaliers have patience with Brown. For all the talk about LeBron being a free agent next summer, and potentially returning home to Cleveland, there’s zero chance he’s coming back to this current dumpster fire, not after going to the Finals four years in a row – perhaps five, if they can get by the Pacers again in the East. [via Akron Beacon Journal]