No one expected the 2018-19 Cavs to be a title contender without LeBron James so when the King signed with the Lakers, that became the start of their downhill slope. Looking at their odds to win the championship, it can be seen that the team’s odds dropped from +1500 to +50000 around the time when LeBron left. Odds will show that Cleveland is now the worst team in their division and this season has been worse than even the most pessimistic projections. Cleveland’s season win total was set at 31.5 in the vulnerable Eastern Conference and they will be lucky to get within ten of that. Between Kevin Love, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr, and exciting rookie Collin Sexton, they were expected to be a fringe playoff contender. But Love and Hill have played just 32 games combined and Sexton has not been able to shoulder the load as a rookie, posting a PER of just 12.0.
The Cavs had an interesting storyline that was disputed by the person it was about. After Kevin Love commented on LeBron James’ Instagram of him dunking that he was drunk, he did not play on Saturday afternoon’s game the next day with “shoulder soreness.” Many thought he was simply hungover, but Love himself disputed this was a tweet of his own to Deadspin.
“You really took what I said in @kingjames comments today seriously? You dumb dumbs are the ones who must be drunk. Great headline though. Hehehe” – Via @KevinLove
The team lost 132-108 without Love playing.
My guess is this was more of a coincidence than anything. The team wanted Love to sit out to help the tanking process, let’s be honest. Since that lost, the Cavs have the 3rd-worst record at 19-58. The bottom three teams get the same odds for the number one pick at 14%.
Kevin Love may have been drinking, he may not have. Who cares? As long as the team gets in the bottom three, everything is good.