How was your week

So the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost their last 3 games and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. This has begged the question, what is wrong with the Cavaliers? This is the same question that the media posed when the Cavaliers got off to a 4-7 start this season.

The answer is easy, there’s nothing wrong with the Cavaliers. Even with last nights tough loss to the Indiana Pacers 97-95 the Cavaliers are still 26-16 and in 1st place in the Central division and are 3rd overall in the Eastern Conference.

What could be some of the reasons the Cavaliers have had some difficulties this season?

Like every NBA team the Cavaliers have had their share of injuries. Derrick Rose has played in just 7 games this season and was planned on being the Cavaliers starting point guard. Rose was averaging 14.3 points per game before he was injured. Iman Shumpert has played in 13 games this season. While Shumpert isn’t a force on the offense end (4.8 points per game) he is a quality defender and can match up with the an opponents top guard or small forward.  Also Isaiah Thomas has played in just 4 games since returning from his hip injury. It’s going to take the team some time to get use to playing with Thomas as there are some adjustments that will have to be made. Don’t forget that Tristan Thompson missed a chunk of time with an injury. While Thompson isn’t a big time scorer he is a very good rebounder and defender while giving the Cavaliers a big physical player in the lane. Teams have their share of injuries through the season, but Cleveland has been waiting some of their big contributors to get healthy.

There was quite a bit of turnover on the roster this off season. When the Cavaliers starting line up was projected for this season the only two players returning would be LeBron James and Kevin Love. Now JR Smith has moved back into the starting line up with Dwayne Wade coming off the bench it still takes time for players to get use to being on the floor with each other. Will have to see in the second half of the season if the Cavaliers will start to jell as a unit.

Let’s face it, they’re starting too get old. Kyle Korver and Jose Calderon are 36. Calderon has been starting at point guard with Rose out. Wade is 35, Channing Frye is 34, Smith is 32 and even James is 33 years old. Sooner or later this is going to catch up to a team. Of course teams can manage players minutes throughout the regular season to combat that, but their regular season record might suffer. Could this be what the Cavaliers are doing?

Could it be that the Eastern Conference is actually getting better? I think everyone expected the Boston Celtics to be better this season with the addition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Even though they did lose Hayward to injury they’re still at the top of the Eastern Conference right now. If you look the Toronto Raptors have always had good regular season records and they’re right their again this season. Toronto is 29-11 and are currently four games ahead of the Cavaliers in the standings. While those are the two teams ahead of Cleveland in the standings there are a lot of teams that are playing better than most of the experts predicted. The Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons look like they’ll be battling for playoff spots while teams like the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers have made marked improvement this season Add in teams like the Indiana Pacers and even the Chicago Bulls who are playing better than predicted right now. Since the Cavaliers have been on top of the Eastern Conference for so long you have to figure they have a bulls-eye on them and they’re getting every teams best game. This of course would set up for more upsets and even when the Cavaliers win a game it could be a tough battle.

While looking at the Cavaliers there is one thing that might cause concern. James is playing a lot of minutes. While he’s having an M.V.P. type of season James is on the floor for an average of 36.9 minutes per game. James has also played in all 42 of the Cavaliers games this season. Tyron Lue is going to have to find a way to get James some rest either by cutting his game minutes or just giving him games off in the second half of the season. Even if James is on the floor less or even off for the night the Cavaliers will still be a playoff team and you’d rather drop a couple of regular season games and have James ready for the playoffs than have him play big minutes I every game and be gassed come playoff time.

Do you have concerns for the Cavaliers from either the first half of the season or going into the second half of the season. Feel free to leave your comments about Cleveland.

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off today at 3:35 p.m. as the Atlanta Falcons visit the Philadelphia Eagles. Just like last week there are two Saturday games and two Sunday games. The second game today has the Tennessee Titans at the New England Patriots. On Sunday the games start at the times we’re use to. At Noon the Jacksonville Jaquars visit the Pittsburgh Steelers and then at 3:40 p.m. the Minnesota Vikings host the New Orleans Saints.

While I’m still waiting for Mr. Fantasy’s picks I can tell you who Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I are going with in these games. In today’s game Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu like the Eagles and the Patriots while I am in agreement with them on the Patriots I do like the Falcons I the early game. Now on Sunday we went some different ways. Dan the Man likes the Jaquars and the Vikings. Schaumburg Stu likes the Steelers and the Saints. I’m going with the Steelers and the Vikings in these games.

Last week Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I went 2-2 with our picks while Dan the Man was 1-3.

Please leave your picks in the comments and let us know if you agree or disagree with our picks.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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