You would think for as much sports angst as we see in Cleveland, we would be enjoying the outstanding season the Cleveland Cavaliers are having.
They currently sit at 41-15 on the season, and seem well on their way to a 60 win regular season, and either the first or second seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
We watched the wine and gold dismantle one of the league’s top teams, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon, in Oklahoma, and we felt good for a day.
The next day, the Cavs lost at home to Detroit, and immediately people were down in the dumps, seemingly questioning everything the franchise is doing.
People were even freaking out because the team’s newest addition, Channing Frye, did not pass his physical instantly, so the fear was we traded Anderson Varejao for nothing.
Of course, shortly before the game on Monday night, Frye was cleared and added to the roster.
We have a cure for this situation. Ignore the Golden State Warriors.
In most NBA seasons, the Cavaliers would have either the best record in the league at this point of the season, or they would be very close. They are a very, very good basketball team.
However, it seems that no matter what Tyronn Lue and his team do these days, they are compared to the defending champions. The champs should be a measuring stick, because they have what the Cavs want, but people should understand that normally, the best team in the NBA wins between 60-65 games.
Over the last five complete NBA seasons (ignoring the lockout shortened season), here are the league’s best record and in parenthesis the number of teams that won 60+ games
2014-15: Golden State 67-15 (2)
2013-14: San Antonio 62-20 (1)
2012-13: Miami 66-16 (2)
2010-11: Chicago 62-20 (2)
2009-10: Cleveland 61-21 (1)
So, over the last five seasons, just eight teams have won more than 60 games, and only two have won more than 65 in a single season.
And you can also see that this year is a huge outlier, with perhaps four teams getting to the 60 win mark (Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City).
Part of that is the huge imbalance in the league this season, as it appears there are four or five (Toronto/Los Angeles Clippers) elite teams, and a lot of mediocrity.
Again, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a very good basketball team, and fans need to relax and watch the balance of the season.
We wrote a few weeks ago that there are very few games of meaning on the schedule for Lue’s crew, and two of them were the first two games out of the All Star break against the Bulls and Thunder, which they won both, and tomorrow night’s tilt in Toronto.
If the Cavs keep winning those types of games, that has more meaning than a loss to Detroit.
In the meantime, here is our advice. Ignore the Warriors until the Cavaliers have to play them again.
That may be in June in the NBA Finals, or it may be the 2016-17 season. They are setting an incredible pace, but as LeBron James has pointed out, it doesn’t really mean anything once the playoffs start.
Don’t freak out until this team loses four in a row, or has a major injury. All in all, they are doing quite well right now.