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​Cavaliers 50-game Recap 2015

Chad W. Lutz
​Well, whatever crystal ball I was staring into wasn't lying, and neither were the insistences that the Cavs would need time to gel. We've seen ups and downs over the first three months of the season, but now that we're on the back-nine of the NBA season, we're seeing exactly what the Cavaliers, given time, have been capable of all along.

Hello 50, have we really played that many games already? Apparently so, according to the Wine and Gold's records, which currently sits at 30-20. Now that is something to see. Two seasons ago the Cavaliers were 9-31 after 40 contests. But a lot of things have changed in Cleveland since then. Almost everything, to be precise. New GM, new coaches, new players, new resolve, and that Lebron James guy isn't bad to have around either. And while Lebron's health definitely played factor in the mini-slump the Cavs experienced midseason, one of the biggest reasons for the current 11-game win streak the Cavaliers are sitting on is the clutch, post performance of big man Timofey Mozgov.

Acquired from the Denver Nuggets on January 7, Mozgov provides the Cavaliers size and strength we haven't seen in a Wine and Gold uniform since Big Z wore No. 11. He blocks, he bodies, he moves like a forward, and runs the floor, which creates space at the other end and allows the Cavs to push the ball right down the throats of opponents. He also plays with as much passion as anyone else on the floor each night, including the revitalized Lebron James and killer-instinct Kyrie Irving. Mix that together with an apparently reformed J.R. Smith and a rehabilitated Iman Shumpert and, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a basketball team.
Seen here doing what he does best, Timofey Mozgov (20) has added depth and presence inside the circle as well as athleticism to spread the floor.
(www.nba.com)
​While I was sad to see Dion Waiters go, I think it's actually beneficial in more than one way. For starters, we no longer have to worry about locker-room kerfuffle among players or between players and coaches. The kid had heart, but sometimes it spilled out and over a little too much, and it seemed the front office had to play damage control more than it should have to. There are enough issues to deal with in terms of player personnel without having to worry about Dion Waiters slinging insults or throwing punches in the locker room. It also would have benefitted no one to find him dead in corner with his beating heart's chancy rhythms slowly fading out in Lebron's tired and tried hands. So, there's that. The trade to the Thunder also means he gets a more hands-on role with a prominent contender. Dion is capable of scoring 20-plus any night, and probably more if he ever had the chance. He's now looked at as the sixth man with Oklahoma City, and his performances since joining his new team are indicative of a much happier Orangemen. You go, Dion. You go.

So, now we all look up and we're two wins shy of matching the franchise record for wins in a row (13) set during Lebron's first stint with our Cleveland Cavaliers, and the standings show us we're the four-seed up from the sixth-seed we were just 15 games ago. Either we're all high, or I ate some bad granola for my mid-morning snack. But, high in a good way. I've never doubted the personnel on this team, coaches or players. I think what the media has exploited (spoiler alert) is our overall disappointment. No, it really wasn't that terrible that the team didn't come out galloping right out of the gate, but signs of what we're seeing now, including an earlier eight-game winning streak in November, followed by inconsistency, injuries, and visible frustration among players, were just disappointing. Kinda like finding out the prize in the box of cereal doesn't look anything like the picture on the front. It's still a prize, but there's still a little bit of letdown. What's fortunate for basketball fans in Cleveland during this current, fledgling era is that the front office, coaches, and players aren't committed to wallowing. They're committed to action and, more importantly, winning. And if they keep this up, I'll have an awful lot more to write about come April, May, and June.
​Upcoming Schedule:
2/5 vs. LAC
2/6 @ IND
2/8 vs. LAL
2/11 vs. MIA
2/12 @ CHI
2/20 @ WAS
2/22 @ NYK
2/24 @ DET
2/26 vs. GSW
2/27 @ IND