After losing three of its first four games in 2014-15, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made the necessary adjustments and emerged as a legitimate Eastern Conference contender to start the 2015-16 campaign.
What makes this dominance so hard to believe is the fact that the absence of Kyrie Irving (knee injury) and Iman Shumpert (wrist injury) has almost gone unnoticed. The goal of winning an NBA Championship is certainly attainable, but the unlimited potential of a full-health roster like the Cavs is something every NBA coach dreams of.
An opening night loss to the Chicago Bulls did not phase the Wine and Gold. Since the late October defeat, the Cavs have won eight of their last nine games, outscoring their competition by a combined 828-751.
LeBron James might be a year older, but his stat line is better than ever thus far: 27.0 ppg (points per game), 6.8 rpg (rebounds per game), and 6.4 apg (assists per game). Kevin Love is averaging a double-double per contest with 17.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg. And how could you forget about Mo Williams? The veteran backup point guard has embraced the role as a temporary starter with 15.6 ppg and 5.1 apg.
So what’s the problem? Besides staying healthy, there really is none. Most of the tougher competition resides in a highly competitive Western Conference, including the San Antonio Spurs and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Nonetheless, the Cavs will have to focus on their regular season schedule as they work through the grueling NBA season.
Looking forward, the Cavaliers have 72 regular season games to go before another potentially historic playoff journey. Some games to look forward to include a Christmas Day matchup against the Warriors and a home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Other than that, it’s just a countdown until April 16, 2016: the beginning of the postseason.