It’s a long season. It happens. Is that an excuse?
The Eastern Conference has typically been the weaker of the two in the NBA. For almost a decade, the Western Conference has been the more competitive internally, while the Eastern Conference teams can lose more than half of their games, and still make the playoffs. In recent years, this has changed, not drastically; but it’s great to see more competition in a conference that lacked. The emergence of the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics have showed tremendously.
The Celtics shook things up this season when they landed Kyrie Irving via trade, and Gordon Hayward through free agency. Unfortunately, Hayward was lost for the season after a devastating knee injury on opening night. Lead by Irving, his teammate has picked up the slack and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference (34-14). That’s also a credit to Brad Steven‘s coaching as well.
Recently, Boston dropped their last four games. They failed to eclipse the 100-point mark in two of those losses, against “the process” happy 76ers and the dreadful Orlando Magic; both at home. That is a head scratcher. Should they hit the panic button? Well, those four loses haven’t forfeited the Eastern crown, so they’re in pretty good shape.
As for Irving’s former team, the panic button is currently stuck. The reigning Eastern Conference champs have lost 10 of 13 games. To add salt to an open wound, his teammates, led by Isaiah Thomas, called Kevin Love out during a team only meeting for leaving the arena, during the abysmal 148-124 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday. According to the Cavs big man, he had an unknown illness. Despite the drama, he is an all-star this season.
With the new all-star game format, two team captains get to choose teams in a new pick- up style format. Love took to twitter to hint at who he would like to play with, whether in the all-star game, or in the future.
Would be special to end up on the same All-Star team as @KlayThompson …our families have been friends for a long time. Crazy that it’s even a possibility. Just a thought!!!
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) January 24, 2018
Either Love wants to sincerely play with his childhood friend, or he is trolling his teammates. With Cleveland turning into drama land, it doesn’t seem like the former UCLA Bruin is having much fun on his own team. Thompson’s splash brother, Steph Curry is a captain, along with LeBron James.
James denied to speak on the Love incident when asked about it, before his historic night. He became the 7th player in league history, and youngest overall, to reach the 30k point plateau.
His night was spoiled by a lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
As the eldest team in the league, the Cavs look that way. Isaiah Thomas is working his way back from an injury, as well as pointing fingers, and Tristan Thompson is trying to adjust to coming off the bench. As the Cavs best rebounder, he needs to be in the starting lineup or their woes will only worsen. To their defense, we have yet to see Kyrie Irving’s replacement in full strength and in rhythm with the starting unit. Any change is necessary in Cleveland in order to turn these loses around.
The Celtics have nothing to worry about at this point in the season. Everyone team goes through a slow drought. The elite teams snap out of it quickly, which will likely happen for Boston.
As for the Cavs, they are currently praying for the all-star break, to figure things out. And quite frankly, they need it.