The Cleveland Cavaliers officially lost their No. 1 seed to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference, after losing to the Chicago Bulls 99-93 on March 30. Since the trade for Kyle Korver became official on Jan. 7, the Cavaliers have gone 20-19. The team is 6-10 in March, the first double-digit loss month for any LeBron James team since November 2003, his first full month in the NBA.
“We’re just in a bad spot right now,” James said after the loss. “Not disappointed with the effort, [we’re] just in a bad spot. [We] gotta try to figure it out.”
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving reportedly hinted at the defending champs holding a team meeting after the loss to the Bulls and said that this isn’t the time that the group should panic.
And he’s right.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have nothing to worry about. Every team struggles, it was only a few weeks ago when the Golden State Warriors seemed all but done in terms of beating the Cavaliers in the finals. Now, the Warriors are back to being recognized as the best team in the league and this is a week before they get the world’s third-best player back in their lineup. The drama and adversity are needed during the course of a seven-month season. The time that any team should worry or panic is when they enter the playoffs with little to no team adversity during the regular season. Teams such as the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks or the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors probably would’ve picked to have key injuries or the inevitable losing streak earlier in the year. The Cavaliers went on to sweep the No. 1 seeded Hawks in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals, the second time a LeBron James team eliminated a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference since 2014 (Indiana Pacers).
Remember last season when Cleveland fired its coach with the best record in the Eastern Conference because the team lost a couple of games in a row and there were disagreements on the floor? There are hurdles in every good story. These slumps by both the Cavaliers and Warriors make the obvious NBA Finals trifecta a little more interesting. 2017 and more specifically the month of March only adds to the story of resilience in June for the Cavaliers.