The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a rough stretch that has seen them lose eight of their last 10 games while being in the bottom third in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
While LeBron James and Co. normally have a slow January before turning on the jets and cruising to the NBA Finals, there reportedly is “growing discontent” in Cavs’ locker room about their inability to compete with the Golden State Warriors.
But one NBA legend thinks Cleveland might not have to worry about Round 4 with the Warriors because it might not make it out the Eastern Conference.
Paul Pierce discussed the Cavs’ struggles on Tuesday’s edition of ESPN’s “The Jump” and claimed that Cleveland won’t make a fourth straight Finals if it doesn’t get a top-three seed.
“I don’t know, I think there’s some questions there,” Pierce said when asked if the Cavs can make the NBA Finals. “I mean with the way Boston looks, with the way Toronto looks, I mean you really have to be concerned if you are the Cavs. I mean, I know they pressed the button a year ago. They went — they lost one game on their way to the Finals — so they are able to press the button once they get there, but they could be bored with the process.
“I think there’s some concern in there if they don’t get a top-three seed, and they have to see Boston and Toronto to get to the Finals, they might be in trouble.”
Although the Cavaliers haven’t looked the part of a Finals contender lately, it’s hard for us to count out James when he’s been to seven (!) straight NBA Finals.
But if the Cavs don’t fix their porous defense and inconsistent offense soon, they could find themselves selling rather than buying at the NBA trade deadline.