CLEVELAND — Following the offseason departure of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers knew they were going to face challenges.
It’d would’ve been tough to fathom, however, that it would be this bad this soon.
With a 110-103 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night — one night after a 102-86 defeat at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets — the Cavs fell to 0-5 in the 2018-19 season. More than a week into its new campaign, Cleveland is just one of two winless teams remaining in the NBA — the other being the 0-4 Oklahoma City Thunder, who have only had former MVP Russell Westbrook in their lineup for two of their games.
Given their disappointing start — and the dwindling attendance at Quicken Loans Arena — perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that team morale is currently low. Thursday night, less than an hour after his team’s latest loss, Cavs forward-center Larry Nance Jr. took to Twitter to send a message to Cleveland fans.
Nance’s post echoes the sentiments of teammate Tristan Thompson, who took issue with the suggestion the Cavs had some “quit” in them following their loss to the Nets on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t say that. There better not be,” Thompson said. “It’s only four games. If you quit already, you should have stayed your a– home and just not showed up to training camp — or just take some insurance money and say you’re hurt. So it’s too early to say ‘quit.’ We’re not quitting. I’m not quitting.”
Maintaining that mindset might be easier than done.
It’s only five games, but the Cavs not only lay claim to the worst record in the league, but the worst point differential as well. Furthermore, Cleveland currently ranks last in the league in both 3-point attempts and makes per game, while also coming in at 28th in 3-point percentage defense — a typical recipe for disaster in the modern NBA.
All that’s to say that even less than two weeks in, it’s not a stretch to say the Cavs could be the worst team in the NBA this season.
There’s, of course, plenty of time left for that to change. And if Nance’s words are to be believed, he and his teammates will do everything they can to accomplish just that.
© 2018 WKYC