On Tuesday we discussed the Miami Heat, a team 11-30 at one point this season and desperate to make the playoffs.
On this day we look at the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team once 30-11 and now desperate to get the regular season out of the way so that it can refocus on basketball in the postseason.
What a nutty juxtaposition. The Heat play for their lives and the Cavs yawn and scratch and rest players and just act bored with the whole thing.
One of the oldest sayings in sports is: You can’t turn it off and turn it on. Someone should say it to the Cavs. They’ve lost three in a row, slipped out of first place in the Eastern Conference and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Granted, they’ve not been at full strength, but that’s of their choosing. When they lost 124-121 in overtime to Miami on Monday night, neither James nor Kyrie Irving played. The Cavs are 0-7 when James doesn’t play and six of those seven were games in which he was rested. He has averaged nearly 38 minutes of playing time per game.
Maybe the Cavs found the regular season lacking in challenges. They played defense as if distracted and generally seemed to lack cohesion. They’re not so much defending their NBA title as offending it.
One more night. One more boring night of the regular season. Then we will see what the Cavaliers really have and what they are truly made of.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman