LeBron and the Cavs Are Struggling Early, Just Like LeBron's Heat Did in 2010

By Jason McIntyre

The Cavs will be fine.

Ohioans are waking up in a collective fog this morning after Cleveland lost to the Jazz, 102-100 at the buzzer Wednesday night. If not for this very, very generous call late in regulation against the Bulls Friday, could the Cavs by 0-4?


Cleveland was selfish Tuesday in Portland – point guard Kyrie Irving shot 3-for-17 with just five assists; Dion Waiters played 28 minutes, collected no rebounds, had no assists, missed 8-of-11 shots and passed the ball just five times – and that Imma-get-mine attitude was on display again in Salt Lake City Wednesday. Irving: 34 points, one assist. Cleveland had six assists – LeBron had four – on 30 baskets. To put that in perspective, the lowest assist game a LeBron-led Heat team had was nine.

The Cavs will be fine.

Speaking of LeBron and the Heat … here’s what he did in his first four games with the Miami Heat (3-1) in 2010:

vs Boston: 10-of-21, 31 points, 4 rebs, 3 assists, 8 turnovers
vs Philly: 5-of-12, 16 points, 6 rebs, 7 assists, 9 turnovers
vs. Orlando: 6-of-13, 15 points, 6 rebs, 7 assists, 3 turnovers
vs. NJ: 5-of-12, 20 points, 7 rebs, 7 assists, 5 turnovers

And LeBron’s first four games with the Cleveland Cavs (1-3) in 2014

vs. NY: 5-of-15, 17 points, 5 rebs, 4 assists, 8 turnovers
vs. Chicago: 14-of-30, 36 points, 8 rebs, 4 assists, 3 turnovers
vs. Portland: 4-of-12, 11 points, 7 rebs, 7 assists, 3 turnovers
vs. Utah: 8-of-18, 31 points, 3 rebs, 4 assists, 4 turnovers

Not a huge difference. Points slightly up, assists slightly down, turnovers slightly down. It’s going to take awhile.

The Cavs will be fine.

Four NBA games is the season equivalent of less than one NFL game. Put away your sweeping generalizations and jump-to-conclusions mat. Let’s go back to LeBron’s first month in Miami. That team had growing pains, too. They started 9-8, and after their fourth loss in five games, LeBron walked back to the bench and appeared to deliver a message-sending bump to his coach, Erik Spoelstra. A day later, LeBron’s camp pretty clearly planted a story at ESPN that the team was unhappy with Spoelstra.

They worked out the kinks. They got to the NBA Finals and led the Mavericks 1-0 before collapsing.

The Cavs will be fine.

Unlike Chris Bosh, Kevin Love has never won anything at the NBA level. Never carried a team to the playoffs.

Unlike Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving has never won anything at the NBA level. Never carried a team to the playoffs, much less the NBA Finals.

Enjoy it while you can, Miami.

Exhale, Cleveland.

Cleveland travels to the high altitude in Denver Friday, and have the weekend off before a Monday date with Anthony Davis.

The Cavs will be fine.

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