Examining the race for home court

If you told me after 23 games that we were going to be 4th in the East, and already lost 4 more games then the Lakers, I would have started hyper-ventilating.  Even after beating Portland last night I was a bit on the ledge that even the Hawks have surpassed us in the standings.  Albeit it’s early, I needed some type of reason to step back off the ledge. 

Luckily, I found it in examining our schedule and comparing it to the rest of the league’s elites:

First off, we’ve played 8 back-to-backs already, going 5-3.  Meanwhile, the Elder C’s and Orlando have only had 5 to contend with in the opening months.  Second, we’ve played well vs. the other good teams in the NBA.  We are currently 6-2 vs. teams with winning records, while Boston is 4-3 and Orlando is just 3-4.  Atlanta truly surprised me though in this category, posting a 7-2 record vs winning ballclubs.  Third, LA has only played 4 games outside the Staples Center in their first 21.  Seriously?? I can’t understand how this is even possible, but look for LA to fall back to the pack a bit as they finally venture out into the world for their next 5 games.  More on LA, they have only played 3 back-to-backs and the so-called unstoppable champs are a mere .500 against winning teams at 3-3.

Looking at our 7 losses I found two are excusable.  Winning in Houston has come tough for the Cavs even in the Lebron Era.  And the Celtics, well, they were better than us on the first night of the Shaq experiment.  The other five losses were to teams that are a combined 43-66 at the moment.  It shows a simple lack of focus that we didn’t see last year, and I hope the Cavs are still looking at the regular season as “Home court or bust” as they did as season ago.  If we drop anymore duds against the Charlottes and the Memphises of the NBA, we may be looking at two straight road series,’ and in this year’s East, that would be incredibly difficult.
I don’t know if it did it for you but I feel a little better.  I would much rather look back at a win in Orlando and a loss at home to the Bulls than the other way around.  As we saw last year you don’t win championships by consistently being able to beat up on lesser teams over an 82 game schedule. You win championships by outplaying very good teams and we’ve shown the capabilty of doing that in the early part of the season.  The Cavs and LB do need to remember though, that beating up on the lesser teams could help come playoff time by having me in the seats during game 7, and not some chowd. 

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Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.