No team in NBA history has lost more games consecutively (24) than the 1982-1983 Cleveland Cavaliers…except for the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers broke its own franchise’s record with a 99-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, February 7, 2011. The sad part about this new record is that the 1982- 1983 team’ s losing streak started the season before; this current streak is happening all in one season. Cleveland couldn’t even get a shot up to send the game into overtime against the Mavs.
As if last summer’s LeBron fiasco wasn’t enough for Cavs fans, they now have to endure another low point in the post-LeBron era. How bad has head coach Byron Scott’s team been during the streak? Well, on average, the Cavs have lost by just under 14 points per game. They have broken the century mark only seven times during the streak. In fact, Cleveland has won only one game since LeBron James’ return to Cleveland on December 2, 2010. They beat the NY Knicks in overtime 190-102 on December 18 2010. So if it wasn’t for that victory, the streak would be at 36.
Through 52 games, the Cavaliers have a record of 8-44, far cry from the league leading 41-11 mark from last year. The Cavs only lost a combined 37 games the two seasons prior, making LeBron James presence in Cleveland even more impressive. Talk about turn for the worst!
Team owner Dan Gilbert is known as a person that would do anything to get his team into championship form but he has a very tough task to fill. Coach Byron Scott has had lots of sleepless nights this season and the organization has added extra team psychologists for player counseling. This is obviously a nightmare situation for any club and no one has a clue about how to get out of this rabbit hole.
Getting a top-notch free agent will be almost impossible, the best option is to regroup through the draft. While Cleveland is guaranteed to be in the NBA lottery, there’s no guarantee that lady luck will be on their side come lottery night. Even she can’t ensure them a number one pick.
Gilbert, a good friend of Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo (whose Michigan State Spartans are having a nightmarish season of their own), offered some words of encouragement to the Spartans coach recently. Telling him to “Stay the course!” Well, someone needs to tell Gilbert that his team “Needs a win.” Maybe they’ll get it February 13th 2011. That’s when the Washington Wizards comes to town. The “Wiz Kids” are riding a losing streak of their own. Washington is currently 0-25 on the road. This should be an interesting game.
By Keith Madyun