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Don’t worry, Cavaliers fans with hearts set on a high draft pick. Things aren’t likely to get better anytime soon.
Some thought they might get better, even briefly, when the Cavs hosted the Chicago Bulls, a team that’s every bit as in shambles as the home squad. But the Cavs were hammered by the tune of 104-88 on Monday afternoon.
It was the first time all season that the Bulls (11-36) led wire-to-wire.
That game followed the longest road trip of the season, a trip that saw the Cavs win one of six games. Given their overall record (9-39), the trip can be considered more of the same — and perhaps even better than expected.
Overall, the Cavs have lost 16 of 17. They are still looking good for at least two-and-half quarters on most nights, and still falling apart for most of the rest of the game.
On Monday, they looked good … never.
They lack depth even when healthy, and continue to be banged up in places where it hurts the most. Namely, the veterans who could actually help make them watchable.
Center Tristan Thompson has missed the past three games with left foot soreness, an injury that kept him out for the early part of last month. The only reason to put him back in there anytime soon would be because, plain and simple, Thompson loves to play.
Big man Larry Nance Jr. (ankle) and swingman David Nwaba (ankle) have missed lots of time and may not return until after the trade deadline — which by the way, is now just a little more than two weeks away.
Then there is All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who underwent toe surgery after just four games. Love is on a four-year contract extension after this year. Anymore, it’s almost as if the Cavs’ best hope is to get a one full season out of him in that four-year span.
That’s just the reputation of constant pain he’s inherited.
Now, there is no telling when Love may return this season. Some have surmised he might not return at all.
While Love is again taking part in light workouts, “shooting on the court and riding the bike in the hallway prior to tipoff, he still isn’t close to an actual return,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported. “Love has to play 2-on-2 and 3-on-3. There are a handful of steps still before he can be cleared.”
Until then, Cavs coach Larry Drew will just have to make the best of the hand he’s been dealt — as the front office continues to bring in and audition new basketball blood.
What happens between now and the end of the season? Well, that’s likely to determine who will join the high draft pick that Cavs fans understandably covet.