The Cavs are currently riding high on a 6 game win streak, and are currently 25-20 on the season. The look overall is that they have pretty much turned around following the trades for Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Timofey Mozgov.
Add a healthy Lebron to the mix, and we are in the midst of something special brewing.
I have mixed feelings (and have always had mixed feelings) whether the Cavs can win the East. I had that same feeling in the beginning of the season as well. I knew the Hawks, Wizards, and Raptors would be good, and the Bulls had a chance to be great. What I didn’t account for is all 4 being great and a team like Milwaukee at the very least being competitive (and a likely playoff team). The upper echelon of the East is extremely tough, and the Hawks look at this point to truly be what their nickname entails: “The Spurs of the East”.
Despite these obstacles, the Cavs still can win the East. The issue will absolutely be, first and foremost, everyone staying completely healthy overall. Eventually the Cavs likely hope that Shumpert can start for the Cavaliers, while J.R. Smith moves back to the bench as the dynamic player he is. The Cavs could still use another big man, because when your back up centers are Tristan Thompson (a great rebounder, but more of a PF by size) and Brendan Haywood, there is an issue. The other has been Matthew Dellavedova, the backup PG. Frankly, I’ve always loved Delly. He is the ultimate hustle player and plays with nothing but heart. While he doesn’t do anything wrong per se, he never truly does anything well. He is a great and scrappy defensive player and an fair shooter, but outside of that he truly does not contribute much to this team. (However, he will still be playing whether or not we do acquire another Point Guard, because Blatt loves him and Lebron respects him). Look for David Griffin to address both needs at the deadline, which would give us the necessary depth to complement the great talent we have on this squad overall.
The Cavs must truly not only play like they are the best, but that they are playing the best teams every night overall. The biggest all around thing holding them back is without a doubt the health of this team overall.
This Cavs team is likely not in contention for the 1st seed as of yet, as the Hawks are looking to have no signs of slowing down, but once the playoffs start overall, everything that happened in the regular season matters not. The Cavs must stay true to themselves and continue to play like they have been and we may be looking at one of the greatest teams overall in the NBA.