After a promising opening game for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Washington Wizards, things have not looked to good to start the season. The Chicago Bulls came to Cleveland and reminded everyone that they are still a good team, even without Derrick Rose. Then there was the heartbreaking defeat, to start the current road trip, to the improved Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
While the Cavaliers have fallen to to 1-2 to start the season, there has been some promise for Cleveland fans. They have shown the ability to take a stranglehold on a game, like they did against the Wizards. While Washington did get back into the game, the Cavaliers turned up the defense in the fourth quarter and got a solid win to start the season.
They have also shown a resiliency that will be crucial throughout the year. During the Bucks game, Cleveland was down by double digits before fighting back and playing a close game. While they ultimately lost the game on a buzzer beater by Brandon Jennings, they fought from behind to take the lead, and showed that they can play under pressure.
Also, no one would be too surprised if Milwaukee were a playoff contender this season, as their young talent may be ready to have a break out season. The Cavaliers, though, are still a very young team, and would be a surprise to still be making a playoff push late in the season. Though some believe that injuries derailed what could have been that surprise season last year, there is no way to know how different things would have been.
This is an exciting team that is going to need some time to come together. While Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao have both played very well through the opening three games, they will need some help. C.J. Miles, the big free agent signing for Cleveland, has yet to impress in the regular season. He is currently coming off the bench, which was not his role in the preseason, but has been his pedigree for most of his seven-year NBA career, but has not been the leader of the second unit like the coaching staff hoped.
While everyone knew this road trip would be tough for the Cavaliers, it is a chance for the team to bond and come together as a basketball team. If they can surprise people, and cause an upset or two along the way, it could go a long way the rest of the season. The second game of the road trip will be tonight against the 2-1 Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers are coming off their first loss of the season, against the Golden State Warriors, and will be looking to get back in the win column against Cleveland. Chris Paul has been outstanding this year, and he is the player the Cavaliers will have to try and slow down. Unfortunately for them, Irving, while a great player, has not been a defensive stud thus far.
Cleveland's hope will be to outwork Los Angeles and attempt to find a way to force turnovers and score off them. This may be tough, as the Clippers were one of the best teams in the league last year at keeping the ball. It would be nice to see the Cavaliers play solid and build confidence going forward. If they can get a win, to bring their road trip record to 1-1, that would make the night even better.
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