Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have definitely become established as the most Jekyll and Hyde teams in the NBA.
The ups and downs, twists and turns that take place during an 82-game season are nothing unusual.
However, for a team that entered the 2017-18 season with expectations of a fourth consecutive trip to The Finals, with aspirations of winning a second crown in three years, what’s unfolded is not only difficult to fathom, it’s downright maddening.
Even for coach Tyronn Lue, who missed practice Monday because of a doctor’s appointment.
“I thought offensively, we had an offensive identity,” Lue said. “I thought defensively, I thought we’d be more of a scramble… a small team that could scramble, get to guys on closeouts, switch a lot of things and that’s who we are.”
That’s certainly up for debate.
The Cavaliers (27-18) are fifth in the NBA in scoring at 109.7 points per game, but 26th in terms of points allowed at 109.5 points per game.
Meaning, a team sporting the best player on the planet in LeBron James and chasing at least another spot in The Finals is scoring on average but 0.2 more points per game — through 55 percent of its season — than its opponents.
But it goes along with the bottom line this season.
After starts of 3-5 and 5-7, the bounced back to win 13 consecutive games, then 18 of 19.
Since Christmas Day, it’s been — yet another — 180.
A 3-9 mark since Christmas Day, a skid that extends back to 4-10.
So what is the identity of the Cavaliers?
The fact it’s actually still a point of debate through 45 games is perhaps the most telling point of all.