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View Full Version : Where do the Cavs rank in the NBA right now?



Scoots
02-29-2016, 01:57 AM
They look like their play is getting worse while other teams are getting better.

Most probably agree that they are not #1 or #2 in the NBA, but are they better than the Thunder? The Clippers? The Raptors?

mngopher35
02-29-2016, 02:19 AM
They looked horrible without Lebron. Definitely behind warriors and Spurs. Okc Cleveland and clippers probably all in the next tier for me so 3-5.

Irving has been horrible defensively and we know klove has issues there as well which could haunt them in the playoffs.

Edit: I see the poll now haha so I will vote 4th between OKC and Clips.

eDush
02-29-2016, 03:51 AM
That's like saying the Warriors look horrible without Curry. These guys ARE the team!

mngopher35
02-29-2016, 04:10 AM
That's like saying the Warriors look horrible without Curry. These guys ARE the team!

Actually there was a game when Curry sat GS dropped one big like this. They won the next one though I think. Either way you still expect these teams to show up with so much talent and today it did not look like that was the case. J.R. Smith was calling the team out lol.

IKnowHoops
02-29-2016, 04:58 AM
They look like their play is getting worse while other teams are getting better.

Most probably agree that they are not #1 or #2 in the NBA, but are they better than the Thunder? The Clippers? The Raptors?

#2

They beat the Spurs by 30. They lost to the spurs by 5 in a game that could of gone either way. That was when Blatt was coaching. Based off the games they have played against each other, I like the Cavs in a series.

Cavs are no longer interested in the regular season. And Kyrie needs to keep improving. Right now he is super inconsistent. He plays great, good, ok, bad, horrible on a continual shuffle. Ive seen the good games this year so at least I know he has it in him, but he's still not close to what he was 100% healthy last year.

Cavs get up on teams and then start lolly gagging around and teams come back on them a lot lately. The only regular season games this team can get up for right now are the Spurs, Warriors, OKC.

They are ready for the playoffs.

jerellh528
02-29-2016, 05:22 AM
Actually there was a game when Curry sat GS dropped one big like this. They won the next one though I think. Either way you still expect these teams to show up with so much talent and today it did not look like that was the case. J.R. Smith was calling the team out lol.

That's to be expected when a team that practices and plays the vast majority of the time with their highest usage player, and that player is suddenly no longer in the lineup. Talk about a change in play style. But of course, after extended time, the absence of that player should be felt less as the team becomes accustomed to playing without him and gaining more chemistry together.

mngopher35
02-29-2016, 05:38 AM
That's to be expected when a team that practices and plays the vast majority of the time with their highest usage player, and that player is suddenly no longer in the lineup. Talk about a change in play style. But of course, after extended time, the absence of that player should be felt less as the team becomes accustomed to playing without him and gaining more chemistry together.

It was effort as well were you guys watching them play? There is a reason J.R. Smith ripped it afterwards. They had just lost to Toronto where Kyrie let Lowry go off the game before only to sleepwalk through the next game. I understand that when a great player sits the team might not perform as well and won't have the same chemistry but that doesn't excuse their play vs. the Wizards in itself when effort seemed to be the issue. If they need to see Lebron on the court to try that is a problem IMO.

prodigy
02-29-2016, 05:50 AM
#2

They beat the Spurs by 30. They lost to the spurs by 5 in a game that could of gone either way. That was when Blatt was coaching. Based off the games they have played against each other, I like the Cavs in a series.

Cavs are no longer interested in the regular season. And Kyrie needs to keep improving. Right now he is super inconsistent. He plays great, good, ok, bad, horrible on a continual shuffle. Ive seen the good games this year so at least I know he has it in him, but he's still not close to what he was 100% healthy last year.

Cavs get up on teams and then start lolly gagging around and teams come back on them a lot lately. The only regular season games this team can get up for right now are the Spurs, Warriors, OKC.

They are ready for the playoffs.

pretty much this...

I would say 3 though, just outta respect for the Spurs, But I do think cavs can beat them in a series.

Only team that worries me as a cavs fan is of course the Warriors.

kdspurman
02-29-2016, 08:34 AM
#2

They beat the Spurs by 30. They lost to the spurs by 5 in a game that could of gone either way. That was when Blatt was coaching. Based off the games they have played against each other, I like the Cavs in a series.

Cavs are no longer interested in the regular season. And Kyrie needs to keep improving. Right now he is super inconsistent. He plays great, good, ok, bad, horrible on a continual shuffle. Ive seen the good games this year so at least I know he has it in him, but he's still not close to what he was 100% healthy last year.

Cavs get up on teams and then start lolly gagging around and teams come back on them a lot lately. The only regular season games this team can get up for right now are the Spurs, Warriors, OKC.

They are ready for the playoffs.

It wasn't 30.... and talk about sample size haha. I guess Portland should be ranked 1 then? You seriously said Cavs aren't interested in the regular season, yet I guess you think SA is, after all these years of pop sitting guys and using it to experiment with different lineups?

Sorry, the Cavs are not better than the Spurs. Everyone has off games, and if you think 2 interconference games determines the better team, you're sadly mistaken. I believe in 2007 the Cavs had the spurs number in the regular season and won both games too. Obviously, different teams and times... but you get the idea.

That's no disrespect to lebron and co, and I know you're a die hard lebron fan. But spurs have been a better team pretty much all year.

Tony_Starks
02-29-2016, 10:18 AM
That's like saying the Warriors look horrible without Curry. These guys ARE the team!


Excellent point. People are quick to say the Warriors are stacked but that game that he missed they were getting blown out by 30. He's what makes them go.

As for the Cavs I have them as third best behind GS and Spurs. When everyone is playing and they are rolling they can play at a championship level.

What they are doing now is really smart, putting Lebron in Tim Duncan mode.

They pretty much have a bye to the Finals, the priority now should be getting Lebron/ Kyrie/ Love to the playoffs with their batteries charged as much as possible.

Dade County
02-29-2016, 10:32 AM
Lbj is most likely going to another Final & he has a good chance of winning another title.

Please try not to be fooled by the scripted events that will happen inbetween that inevitable outcome.

DanG
02-29-2016, 10:48 AM
#3

How can you put them lower? They have beaten OKC twice this year without Kyrie and the Clippers well I just don't see it.


1. Warriors
2. Spurs
3. Cavs
4. OKC
5. Clippers
6. Raptors

valade16
02-29-2016, 10:48 AM
Lbj is most likely going to another Final & he has a good chance of winning another title.

Please try not to be fooled by the scripted events that will happen inbetween that inevitable outcome.

Only one of those is true...

Hawkeye15
02-29-2016, 11:04 AM
I honestly haven't watched more than 1 Cavs game this year. And I went to that one.

I personally feel the Cavs aren't beating either the Warriors or Spurs in a series. LeBron is no longer LeBron, and Love/Irving are not good enough to close the gap. Nor are the role players.

Miltstar
02-29-2016, 12:09 PM
They pretty much have a bye to the Finals, the priority now should be getting Lebron/ Kyrie/ Love to the playoffs with their batteries charged as much as possible.

The Raptors might actually give them a run this year, they've greatly improved their defence with the additions of Joseph and Biyombo and if Demarre Carroll can we have two SF's that can legitimately guard Lebron James.

Our biggest problem against the Cavs is Kevin Love as Scola is not quick enough to guard him, but I could see James Johnson filling in at the 4 IF Carroll get get on the court!

The Cavs are the clear-cut favourites in the East, but the Raptors seem more determined and better fit to make a run this year, I don't think it will be a cake walk for Lebron and co.

Tony_Starks
02-29-2016, 12:15 PM
The Raptors might actually give them a run this year, they've greatly improved their defence with the additions of Joseph and Biyombo and if Demarre Carroll can we have two SF's that can legitimately guard Lebron James.

Our biggest problem against the Cavs is Kevin Love as Scola is not quick enough to guard him, but I could see James Johnson filling in at the 4 IF Carroll get get on the court!

The Cavs are the clear-cut favourites in the East, but the Raptors seem more determined and better fit to make a run this year, I don't think it will be a cake walk for Lebron and co.


The Raptors have enough talent to give the Cavs a really competitive series. Like a solid, well fought 6 game series. That's about it.

That's respectable but in the great grand scheme of things they're really not too hard to figure out.

Vee-Rex
02-29-2016, 12:30 PM
Third best for sure.

With the two wins against OKC, I think you gotta give the Cavs the benefit of the doubt. Clippers have yet to beat the Bron/Love/Irving Cavs, series 3-0 in our favor. I think you gotta give the benefit of the doubt to the Cavs for that.

As of RIGHT NOW, the Cavs defense is atrocious all around. Kyrie is even more terrible than he usually is on defense. Our mentality is SO fragile and we have not been consistent. High ceiling, but low floor as well.

As of RIGHT NOW, we stand no chance against the Warriors. We'd either get swept, or if we got extremely lucky, we'd lose 1-4 in a series.

As of RIGHT NOW, we do have a chance against the Spurs. I'd say the Spurs would be likely to beat us in 6 games, maybe 7. They're the better team. If things go our way, I'd say we can win in 7 games.

I'm trying not to overreact because the Cavs have been so inconsistent. It's why I didn't really get hype over the OKC win we had. Regardless, if anyone thinks that they're suddenly a non-contender or don't stand a chance in beating teams like OKC and the Clippers then they're clueless.

Scoots
02-29-2016, 12:32 PM
Right now ... the Cavs are 4th at best ... but in the playoffs when LeBron tries to turn it up they may move up a spot or two.

The Raps and Clips are chasing hard and fast right now and the Cavs have not been very consistent and do not look like they are fixing the broken parts of their game.

The most alarming stat I saw over the weekend was that LeBron took 72% of "double clutch" shot attempts ... So LeBron dominates the ball at an outrageous rate in those situations meaning he has very little faith in his teammates, they don't run a very egalitarian system, and his absence would make a bigger difference to the Cavs than any other team's loss of their top user of "double clucth" opportunities. This is probably a joint result of LeBron pressing realizing that the end is closer than the beginning, and him not having much faith in his teammates, probably to some extent because they are not getting chances to improve or show they have improved. http://stats.inpredictable.com/nba/ssnPlayerSplit.php?season=2015&pos=ALL&team=CLE&po=0&frdt=2015-10-27&todt=2016-02-24&shot=both&dst=team

KnicksorBust
02-29-2016, 12:53 PM
Debating teams 3-7 is a toss-up imo. Warriors/Spurs are the class of the league. Then it is a tier of great teams with some warts. Based on their likelihood to make the Finals the Cavs have a significant edge over WC teams like Clippers/Thunder and they are still better than the Raps so I will put them 3rd.

Vee-Rex
02-29-2016, 01:05 PM
Right now ... the Cavs are 4th at best ... but in the playoffs when LeBron tries to turn it up they may move up a spot or two.

The Raps and Clips are chasing hard and fast right now and the Cavs have not been very consistent and do not look like they are fixing the broken parts of their game.

The most alarming stat I saw over the weekend was that LeBron took 72% of "double clutch" shot attempts ... So LeBron dominates the ball at an outrageous rate in those situations meaning he has very little faith in his teammates, they don't run a very egalitarian system, and his absence would make a bigger difference to the Cavs than any other team's loss of their top user of "double clucth" opportunities. This is probably a joint result of LeBron pressing realizing that the end is closer than the beginning, and him not having much faith in his teammates, probably to some extent because they are not getting chances to improve or show they have improved. http://stats.inpredictable.com/nba/ssnPlayerSplit.php?season=2015&pos=ALL&team=CLE&po=0&frdt=2015-10-27&todt=2016-02-24&shot=both&dst=team

The messed up part about it is Kyrie has been clutch his ENTIRE CAREER. There is no reason the ball shouldn't be in his hands during the end of tight games. I'm cool with Bron iso'ing midway-late in the 4th and slowing down the game to a snail's pace, it's just one of those things you live with (usually produces mixed results). But Kyrie should be taking the last second/last few possession shots every time.

ManningToTyree
02-29-2016, 01:06 PM
Warriors
Spurs

Cleveland
Okc

Clippers
Toronto

kdspurman
02-29-2016, 01:10 PM
The messed up part about it is Kyrie has been clutch his ENTIRE CAREER. There is no reason the ball shouldn't be in his hands during the end of tight games. I'm cool with Bron iso'ing midway-late in the 4th and slowing down the game to a snail's pace, it's just one of those things you live with (usually produces mixed results). But Kyrie should be taking the last second/last few possession shots every time.

Yea. Kyrie is a guy at the end of games you want the ball out of his hands if you're the opponent. He's hit big shots, and doesn't seem to be one who's scared of the moment. That's not to say Lebron isn't capable, but to me, Lebron doesn't always take the best shot available at times. He tends to take tougher shots at the end of the game, rather than a higher % shot, especially for someone who isn't really an elite shooter.

If he drove to the basket more late in games, it opens up many different outcomes, but he tends to dribble and take a tough/fade-away kind of shot.

Scoots
02-29-2016, 01:18 PM
The messed up part about it is Kyrie has been clutch his ENTIRE CAREER. There is no reason the ball shouldn't be in his hands during the end of tight games. I'm cool with Bron iso'ing midway-late in the 4th and slowing down the game to a snail's pace, it's just one of those things you live with (usually produces mixed results). But Kyrie should be taking the last second/last few possession shots every time.

For that data "double clutch" is measured where the outcome of the shot has the highest effect on win probability. For LeBron to be taking 72% of such shots is fairly shocking. The fact that he is well above league average on such shots is testament to his abilities, but it's also telling of something wrong in the team, particularly a team with other high level talents like Kyrie. This year LeBron is at 54.5% EFG% on those shots while Kyrie in FAR few opportunities is at 100%.

Last year LeBron and Kyrie both took 28% of the "double clutch" shots for the season with LeBron below league average and Kyrie right on it.

On a side note just because it's fun to play with data: This year Curry is taking 47% of such shots for the Warriors and his EFG% is 79.4%. Kawhi's EFG% on "double clutch" shots is 20% while Tony Parker's (who has taken 2 more such shots than Kawhi) is 78.6%. Jamal Crawford is far better than Chris Paul in "double clutch" shooting but far worse in all other shots (is that an unintentional analogy for CP3s career?).

Chromehounds
02-29-2016, 01:43 PM
Don't care where they are now, but I want a rematch. The finals that is.

Scoots
02-29-2016, 01:56 PM
Don't care where they are now, but I want a rematch. The finals that is.

It sure looks like it's going to be the Cavs ... with an outside shot of the Raps.

That said it's possible one of the young Eastern teams could topple the Cavs in an early round if they hit it just right.

Bostonjorge
02-29-2016, 08:33 PM
Okc will take Cleveland out in a 7 game series. Westbrook and Durant would be the best 2 players in that series.

Chronz
03-01-2016, 12:00 PM
Okc will take Cleveland out in a 7 game series. Westbrook and Durant would be the best 2 players in that series.
Lol

JasonJohnHorn
03-01-2016, 01:29 PM
GSW
SAS
OKC
LAC
CLE


Looking at total wins and competition, it is safe to say any team in the west with a better record than a team in the east is better than that team (though they may not match-up well).

GSW, SAS and OKC all have better or equal records (OKC is .5 behind .

LAC I would throw in to. They are right there, but they are playing stiffer competition, and they are missing an MVP candidate in Blake. That team is better than Cleveland, though of the four teams I mentioned, I'd say that is the only team CLE would have a shot against in a 7-game series.

Scoots
03-01-2016, 01:32 PM
I didn't ever think this would happen:

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/25499242/nba-power-rankings-balance-helps-blazers-bust-into-the-top-five

Tony_Starks
03-01-2016, 01:58 PM
Okc will take Cleveland out in a 7 game series. Westbrook and Durant would be the best 2 players in that series.



If Golden State got caught up in some sort of elaborate point shaving gambling scandal like Blue Chips, and was forced to forfeit the playoffs..... I could see this happening.

kdspurman
03-01-2016, 02:12 PM
I just don't see OKC beating the Cavs. They might be the better team, but the Cavs/Lebron match up very well with them. If that even makes sense

Hawkeye15
03-01-2016, 02:14 PM
I just don't see OKC beating the Cavs. They might be the better team, but the Cavs/Lebron match up very well with them. If that even makes sense

Westbrook is the key there. Can Cleveland contain him at all?

KnicksorBust
03-01-2016, 03:40 PM
Westbrook is the key there. Can Cleveland contain him at all?

Well they don't have to put Kyrie on him because they can hide Kyrie on Roberson/Waiters.

Hawkeye15
03-01-2016, 03:43 PM
Well they don't have to put Kyrie on him because they can hide Kyrie on Roberson/Waiters.

The Cavs don't have anyone that can bother Westbrook is the problem.

KnicksorBust
03-01-2016, 03:46 PM
The Cavs don't have anyone that can bother Westbrook is the problem.

TBH the matchup just seems like such a long shot that it doesn't really matter.

Vee-Rex
03-01-2016, 04:00 PM
The Cavs don't have anyone that can bother Westbrook is the problem.

See, this is what I don't really understand... I think you'd be better off looking at Westie's numbers against the Cavs before making pure speculation.

In the 4 games the Cavs have played the Thunder in the 'big 3' era, Westbrook's numbers are:

24ppg
43% FG
7rbpg
10apg
3topg

Not bad stats at all, but at the same time it's not like he's torching the Cavs. The way you regard it is as if you think Westbrook will put up 35+ because "it's a problem that the Cavs don't have anyone to bother him".

While a 4-game sample size isn't large by any means, I don't understand how anyone can make the assumption that Westbrook would go nuts on the Cavs, especially considering that the only time they beat the Cavs was w/o LeBron (Cavs lead 3-1 in series from this year and last).

Chronz
03-01-2016, 05:18 PM
See, this is what I don't really understand... I think you'd be better off looking at Westie's numbers against the Cavs before making pure speculation.

In the 4 games the Cavs have played the Thunder in the 'big 3' era, Westbrook's numbers are:

24ppg
43% FG
7rbpg
10apg
3topg

Not bad stats at all, but at the same time it's not like he's torching the Cavs. The way you regard it is as if you think Westbrook will put up 35+ because "it's a problem that the Cavs don't have anyone to bother him".

While a 4-game sample size isn't large by any means, I don't understand how anyone can make the assumption that Westbrook would go nuts on the Cavs, especially considering that the only time they beat the Cavs was w/o LeBron (Cavs lead 3-1 in series from this year and last).

Thats not torching the Cavs? Whats his efficiency like cuz those raw numbers look bonkers.

Chronz
03-01-2016, 05:19 PM
The Cavs don't have anyone that can bother Westbrook is the problem.

They dont but Bron seems to have KD's number. Then again, it could just be a fluke occurrence, as I always say, trends dont matter unless they hold up in a playoff series. Cavs vs Thunder happens so infrequently that we cant really draw any lines

Hawkeye15
03-01-2016, 06:06 PM
They dont but Bron seems to have KD's number. Then again, it could just be a fluke occurrence, as I always say, trends dont matter unless they hold up in a playoff series. Cavs vs Thunder happens so infrequently that we cant really draw any lines

The last time they met in the playoffs, it was peak LeBron. Durant is better than that Durant, LeBron worse than that LeBron. Imo anyways

JasonJohnHorn
03-01-2016, 08:55 PM
I just don't see OKC beating the Cavs. They might be the better team, but the Cavs/Lebron match up very well with them. If that even makes sense

I don't see how that match-up favours the Cavs at all. I love LBJ, but KD is a more efficient score. He's got range LeBron doesn't. LBJ's their strongest player, and he doesn't even win his position. At best, it is a wash.


Westy blow Kyrie out of the water. Kyrie already struggles to be efficient on a lot of nights. He doesn't have a shooters touch. You out a strong defender like Westy on him, who has a couple inches, and he's in trouble. Plus he can't guard Westy. If he wanted to, Westy could post up on him, and his size makes it easy to get a shot off.

As for power forward, Ibaka is a strong defender. With Love already struggling in this system, I don't see how going against a great man-to-man defender like Ibaka is going to be a good match-up. Sure, he'll outscore Ibaka, and maybe even out rebound him, but Ibaka will make sure Love is inefficient, and any difference in rebounding will be made up buy guys like Westy and KD who rebound very well for their positions.

At C... what... I'd say it was a wash. Neither team will be relying on the C's offensively, and neither team has much to worry about with respect to that. The Cavs bigs are slightly better rebounders, but Westy, as mentioned, and other team members are already solid rebounders, so that won't be an issue.

Westy will light up Kyrie. KD will edge out LBJ, Ibaka will slow down love, the C's are a wash. The only advantage the Cavs have is at SG. Waiters sucks. But that said, Smith might have a good game or two, but's far from consistent. Even within the context of a game. He might be great in the first half, and be non existent in the second.

Vee-Rex
03-01-2016, 11:26 PM
Thats not torching the Cavs? Whats his efficiency like cuz those raw numbers look bonkers.

It's not torching the Cavs any more than he does every other team. He's a walking triple-double machine, so averaging 7rbg and 10apg is nothing out of the ordinary.

And it's only 24ppg (which is much too low considering the Thunder tend to have problems getting production out of everyone not named Westie/KD) on 43% shooting.

That's not torching the Cavs...

Vee-Rex
03-01-2016, 11:36 PM
JJH,

I suggest watching the Cavs and Thunder play instead of basing it on pure speculation. At first glance, your argument looks solid, but watching both teams play each other reveals:

1. LBJ plays well against Durant. I don't care who's more efficient the other 80 games of the season, LBJ consistently plays hard on both ends of the court and Durant is too slow to defend his first step. Durant is also weak-limbed and isn't physical enough with Bron (like Kawhi/Iggy/Jimmy) and it really shows.

2. Kyrie is up and down, while Westie has a more consistent impact. Westie wins, but the Thunder lose at every other position. Also, the Cavs tend to throw multiple defenders at Westie (Delly/Shumpert) and try to turn him into a jump shooter. Can't stop him at all, but they have managed to keep him from putting up 30 points in all their meetings.

3. Ibaka is no longer the defender he once was. He struggles to defend Love on the perimeter which is a major problem. He's still a great shot blocker but his post defense is extremely lacking, which is exactly why Love has been abusing him. Love can be a bit savvy and Ibaka just doesn't defend him well.

Add on the fact that the Cavs still have JR who can get hot at a moment's notice, Delly who plays solid at the PG position, and Tristan Thompson who can be a problem in the rebounds, and you'll see how the Cavs match up pretty well. That's not even counting Shumpert and Mozgov who can make a decent play or two.

What roleplayers does the Thunder have to match the ^^^above paragraph? No one.

Seriously, analyze the Cavs/Thunder games and you'll see it.

Bostonjorge
03-02-2016, 12:02 AM
The love vs ibaka matchup would easily go to love if love was playing in the post against him. Trying to shoot over a long shot blocker is going to hurt love. No offense for love means no defensive hustle either. Ibaka holding love scoring down is a win for ibaka.

europagnpilgrim
03-02-2016, 12:18 AM
The Raptors might actually give them a run this year, they've greatly improved their defence with the additions of Joseph and Biyombo and if Demarre Carroll can we have two SF's that can legitimately guard Lebron James.

Our biggest problem against the Cavs is Kevin Love as Scola is not quick enough to guard him, but I could see James Johnson filling in at the 4 IF Carroll get get on the court!

The Cavs are the clear-cut favourites in the East, but the Raptors seem more determined and better fit to make a run this year, I don't think it will be a cake walk for Lebron and co.

Cavs will be clear cut fav for next 3 yrs or so with Lebron in the fold, its basically like you said the new look Raptors are now the biggest threat, just as the old Celtics team he ran thru with the Heat then the media hyped Pacers version and the Bulls in between, just too many new teams every year to really challenge the Cavs led by Lebron, which makes it sort of weak competition as a whole out East

not a cake walk but a cake and ice cream type

Vee-Rex
03-02-2016, 12:21 AM
The love vs ibaka matchup would easily go to love if love was playing in the post against him. Trying to shoot over a long shot blocker is going to hurt love. No offense for love means no defensive hustle either. Ibaka holding love scoring down is a win for ibaka.

In the 4 games Kevin Love as a Cavalier has played against Ibaka, he's averaging:

19ppg 12rpg 3apg on 47% FG and 42% 3pt.

In K-Love's entire career against Ibaka, he's averaging:

23ppg 13rpg 3apg on 47% FG and 50% 3pt.

For all intents and purposes, Ibaka has never been able to defend Love, and Love's ability to stretch him out has been a problem for Serge Iblockya.

europagnpilgrim
03-02-2016, 12:26 AM
by default Cavs are 2a, since the other two out west will have to more than likely matchup to see who advances and Cavs made the finals last year so they are reigning East champs and last I checked most of the time finals runner up are a top 2 team in entire nba, key phrase ''most of the time''

Dubs
Cavs-Spurs

Clippers being in the top 5 should give every franchise some type of hope cause I sware they had like 8-10 straight years of top 3 lottery picks until past few yrs, I think they squeezed a playoff birth around the 03-06 season, but I could be wrong

they have a legit chance come playoff time, what a miracle if you truly think about where they came from, being in the lakers shadow for 20 years it seemed like

JasonJohnHorn
03-02-2016, 01:48 AM
JJH,

I suggest watching the Cavs and Thunder play instead of basing it on pure speculation. At first glance, your argument looks solid, but watching both teams play each other reveals:

1. LBJ plays well against Durant. I don't care who's more efficient the other 80 games of the season, LBJ consistently plays hard on both ends of the court and Durant is too slow to defend his first step. Durant is also weak-limbed and isn't physical enough with Bron (like Kawhi/Iggy/Jimmy) and it really shows.

2. Kyrie is up and down, while Westie has a more consistent impact. Westie wins, but the Thunder lose at every other position. Also, the Cavs tend to throw multiple defenders at Westie (Delly/Shumpert) and try to turn him into a jump shooter. Can't stop him at all, but they have managed to keep him from putting up 30 points in all their meetings.

3. Ibaka is no longer the defender he once was. He struggles to defend Love on the perimeter which is a major problem. He's still a great shot blocker but his post defense is extremely lacking, which is exactly why Love has been abusing him. Love can be a bit savvy and Ibaka just doesn't defend him well.

Add on the fact that the Cavs still have JR who can get hot at a moment's notice, Delly who plays solid at the PG position, and Tristan Thompson who can be a problem in the rebounds, and you'll see how the Cavs match up pretty well. That's not even counting Shumpert and Mozgov who can make a decent play or two.

What roleplayers does the Thunder have to match the ^^^above paragraph? No one.

Seriously, analyze the Cavs/Thunder games and you'll see it.

You may be right. I'll try to keep an eye out next time they play. It's hard to judge though, as they only play each other twice a year. You point is taken, though, given how well James played in those two game.

I'm curious if he could keep it up for a seven game series. He was a beast with passing and rebounding in the finals last year, but his efficiency was down the toilet (admittedly the lack of Kyrie and Love had something to do with that).

Thanks for the positive contribution to the conversation.

Chronz
03-02-2016, 06:39 PM
It's not torching the Cavs any more than he does every other team. He's a walking triple-double machine, so averaging 7rbg and 10apg is nothing out of the ordinary.

And it's only 24ppg (which is much too low considering the Thunder tend to have problems getting production out of everyone not named Westie/KD) on 43% shooting.

That's not torching the Cavs...

Then I guess the man torches everyone but he appears to be more statistically dominant against Cleveland. Seriously, go check out his efficiency, its only 2 games but I dont see how you can look at that and say its not out of the norm.

Tony_Starks
03-03-2016, 11:00 AM
The more and more I think about it, the Raptors actually do have a legit shot at the Cavs.

They're only two games back on them, if they can somehow manage to get HCA that place is going to be CRAZY come playoff time.

Against the Cavs in a series the pressure would all be on Cleveland, the Raptors could fully embrace the "nobody expects us to get to the Finals anyway" role.