The calendar turned over on Monday and 2018 is upon us. The arrival of January means that the Cleveland Cavaliers are doing what the Cleveland Cavaliers do. LeBron James and company famously went 7-8 during the month of January a season ago and, while the team’s struggles are actually beginning a little bit early this time around, they aren’t overly surprising in nature.
Cleveland has dropped four of five at the end of the calendar year and, of course, that isn’t ideal. It should be noted that all four defeats came on the road with the lone victory coming at home but the final two (against Sacramento and Utah) did not paint the prettiest picture. Of course, there is absolutely no need for panic given the team’s track record and the presence of the best player on the planet but, in the same breath, the encouraging signs (especially on defense) from its previous run of 18 wins in 19 games seem to have evaporated over the latest stretch.
The concept of “trouble” for the current iteration of the Cavs is perilous, simply because almost nothing in the regular season actually matters for this squad. Home-court advantage in the East? Optional. Regular season consistency? Eh, who needs it. With that said, the Cavs don’t quite have the some fear factor this season in the post-Kyrie Irving, pre-Isaiah Thomas era and, until they are at full strength and firing on all cylinders, some level of skepticism could actually be warranted in terms of pure upside.
Where will the Cavs be in the first 2018 edition of our Dime Power Rankings? Let’s find out.