While the Golden State Warriors are over on the West Coast balling out at a legendary rate, their 2015 NBA Finals opponents (and fellow top conference seed) the Cleveland Cavaliers have had a brutal season. Even though their record stands at a very good 44-18, they’ve been perennially unsatisfied and often miserable. Their discontent has at times spilled into social media, but after an upsetting loss to a severely shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies team, they didn’t cloak their dissatisfaction in pseudo-philosophical tweets.
The Grizzlies were without Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Matt Barnes and Zach Randolph, and the Cavaliers were as healthy as they’ll ever be, but the Grit ‘n Grind boys played with an intensity that the Cavs sorely lacked. LeBron James put it in no uncertain terms:
“I can sit up here and say that we’re a team that’s ready to start the playoffs tomorrow, but we’re not. We’re still learning. We still have things that happen on the court that just, that shouldn’t happen.”
The Cavs committed 25 turnovers on the night, a number more commensurate with the Philadelphia 76ers than a team with title aspirations. Time and time again this season, when the Cavs have looked like they might finally come together, they lay eggs like this. Of course, the Warriors got blown out by the Lakers, but the difference is that the Dubs have the team personality to brush it off and move forward, whereas every Cavs disappointment is a referendum on what’s wrong with the team — and a lot of that is internal, not just media pressure.