The Cavs Are Nowhere Near Complete

The Cavs Are Nowhere Near Complete

Grant Puskar
2 months ago
4 min read
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland drives to the basket against Isaiah Roby

Sitting with a 17-11 record while currently third in the Eastern Conference should mean Cavs fans across the world are nothing but pleased with their team, right?

Considering how brutal the Cavs have been without LeBron James since he entered the league, that seems like a fair take. 

Unfortunately, I am here to tell you it's not, and the Cavs have a lot of work to do if they want to be a legitimite threat come playoff time. 

Cavs Road Struggles Continue

As mentioned above, the Cavs are 17-11 this season. However, in that record, they are 12-2 at home, while being a scary 5-9 on the road.

If you haven't seen their home/road splits yet, cover your eyes.

The only thing the Cavs do better on the road vs. at home is shoot at a higher free throw clip, and it's not much of a difference, shooting just 78 percent from the line at home, compared to 82 percent on the road.

As for star point guard Darius garland, his home/road splits are even worse. Garland averages 26 points per game at home, but just 16 on the road. 

To make matters worse, Garland shoots the three at home at an efficient clip of 46 percent. On the road? A grueling 28 percent. Overall field goal percentage? 50 percent at home, 33 percent on the road. 

The point guard is still extremely young. If the Cavs didn't give him a max extension this off-season, I don't think everyone would be on him as much as they are, myself included.

Either way, Garland has to get it going soon. After missing a wide open game winning three last night against the Spurs, I'm sure he knows it too. The Cavs are giving him too much money to be this suspect on the road, and again, he knows it. 

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More Coaching Woes Make Matters Worse

The biggest question and concern of mine that I have had for JB Bickerstaff has always been if he is fully capable of adjusting. 

Last year, we saw countless times the Cavs take a lead into halftime after playing a solid half, and then coming out of the break only to get smoked by a better coach who was able to adjust to the Cavs gameplan that night.

The other night, he elected to pull Evan Mobley in the waning minutes of the game to go with Isaac Okoro, who has played extremely poor all season long. Lineups down the stretch of games have been another concern of his by many.

Last night, he elected to take his final timeout with him to Dallas for the remainder of the road trip rather than use it. When could he have used it?

After Evan Moblye got the first offensive rebound, before Garland missed the wide open three. Even after the Garland miss, Donovan Mitchell pulled down the offensive rebound with three seconds still remaining on the clock. Bickerstaff was nowhere to be found.

It's still early in the season, and Bickerstaff has also dealt with a ton of injuires and an underperforming bench unit. He has time to figure it out, but the clock is ticking. 

Cavs Need Shooting, And They Need It Bad

Come playoff time, Mitchell and Garland are not going to be able to carry this team when it comes to shooting.

As I mentioned before, this Cavs team has dealt with many injuries this year. Last night, however, that was not a valid excuse, as Ricky Rubio was the only difference-maker that was inactive, and he doesn't bring tons of scoring on a nightly basis.

Caris LeVert was technically a bench player last night, as he ended up with 23 points. That said, when you take into account the starter in his place was Lamar Stevens who put up zero points, it doesn't make things any better. Isaac Okoro also put up zero points. Stevens and Okoro, who combined to play 41 minutes, combined for zero points in the entire game

The rest of the Cavs bench put up a whopping nine points last night. 

If general manager Koby Altman is serious about competing this year, you will see other moves made. If he wants to see how far this year's squad can go in Mitchell's first year with the Cavs, we'll have to just accept it and move on.

Despite the issues and glaring holes on the roster spot, the Cavs are still a good basketball team. If they want to be legit contenders right away, it will be up to Altman to complete the squad. 

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