Steph Curry had a great line earlier this week about his supposed “slump” this season, and the idea that he isn’t great anymore. Basically, he said what any rational basketball player, expert, reporter, analyst, fan, and court mopper should have already been thinking: “I’ll take those slump numbers any day of the week.” Know who else is apparently slumping, according to the law of NBA superstar expectations? The Eastern Conference leaders, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost a whopping two consecutive games and four of their last 10.
Dear God, sound the panic bells in the Sixth City.
Granted, Cleveland’s latest losses are certainly pathetic, at least by their standards and our expectations. On Tuesday, the Jazz defeated the Cavs 100-92, and while the Jazz are good this season, LeBron James and co. should cleaned the court with them. On Wednesday, the Blazers spanked the Cavs 102-86, but the very well-paid Blazers are supposed to be good. Still, the defending champs have never made excuses for themselves, and – hold on, I’m being told they do, in fact, have an excuse.
It’s practice. Specifically, they haven’t practiced since December 28. And that’s important, according to Kevin Love, because Kyle Korver came in and screwed everything up.
“Not only to get Kyle integrated and comfortable, but we just need a little touch up,” Love said. “Whether it’s some of our shots or some of our plays, getting out in transition, playing with pace. We’re always a better team when we do that. Practice time would be great for us, but it’s just hard to find right now.” (Via ESPN)
As for our expectations, it’s sort of ridiculous how people are acting like the Cavs getting Korver was the end-all trade of the season. Yes, it makes them better, but invincible? He’s 35-years-old and very obviously human, as evidenced by his lousy stats since joining his new team. Realistically, the Cavs are sort of struggling because of a string of bad luck, as Tyronn Lue pointed out while totally not contradicting himself.
“Schedule, injuries, sickness, a lot of stuff,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “But I mean it’s no excuse. We know what we’re doing, what we’re supposed to do. Right now it’s like, we’re not going to have assists if we’re not making shots [and] shoot 34 percent [like Cleveland did against Portland]. I mean, how many assists can you really get? Just got to do a better job of making shots but also finishing around the basket when we get in the paint, and get in the paint instead of taking tough shots, kicking it out for open shots. Just got to read and play the game the right way.” (ESPN)
Again, if this is a slump, I’m pretty sure most NBA fans would rename their first-born children Poop Fartballs for their teams to slump like this. Practice, chemistry, nicer referees, voodoo rituals and livestock sacrifices – whatever the solution may be, we’re pretty sure the Cavs are going to be just fine when they make it back to the NBA Finals this season.