It has been a rough season for the Cleveland Cavaliers – a rare statement for a team holding the No. 1 seed in its conference. Currently sitting at 41-17, any and all recent news out of Cleveland’s camp seems to be negative.
Firing David Blatt and replacing him with Tyronn Lue was supposed to wipe away many of the Cavs’ problems, but it’s fair to say things have only gotten worse since then. Following a disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors, a LeBron-less Cleveland team was humiliated by the lottery-bound Washington Wizards.
Starting shooting guard J.R. Smith didn’t hold back his frustration after the game, telling reporters, “It’s tough. If we’re going to play with a lack of energy after losing a game on the road and come out and play the way we did today, then we shouldn’t be who we are and be in these uniforms.”
Just when Cleveland seemed ready to move on from the embarrassment though, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had this to say: “Dating back to last year, I’ve been told that Kyrie Irving ain’t too happy being in Cleveland. The situation is not ideal for him. I don’t know the particulars, I haven’t spoken to him personally. It’s something that I’ve been hearing for months; that under ideal circumstances he would prefer to be someplace other than Cleveland.”
With Kyrie Irving reportedly unhappy with his role in Cleveland, it simply serves as another distraction for a team whose chemistry has consistently been questioned. To make matters worse, all of this runs in stark contrast to the team the Cavaliers are desperately trying to keep pace with – the Golden State Warriors.
Despite Cleveland’s “Big 3” being healthy this season, the discord within the team would make this year’s NBA Finals more lopsided than the last one. Lucky for them, they have 24 games to change that fact.