Monday, November 10

Cavs Prepare for Favorable November Schedule

Championships are not won in the first month of the season. However, each win and loss still counts towards determining playoff seeding in April. And as we all know from Cleveland's NBA Finals run in 2007, seeding can definitely help to win championships.

On that same note, the record from the first month of the season is not necessarily indicative of how a team will finish the year. Simply look back to the doomed 2000-2001 Cavs team that finished their season with a 15-45 run after firing out of the gates 15-7. Nobody assumes that the Hawks or Lakers are going to go undefeated for the remainder of this season,(they have to play each other, right?) and the Wizards will not lose every single game.

Cautionary tales aside, the Cleveland Cavaliers, currently at 5-2, are eyeing a favorable schedule as they continue through the first month of the season. The next ten opponents boast a combined .460 winning percentage from last season, with only four of those games occurring on the road.

The stretch begins Tuesday with a winnable game at home against Milwaukee (3-4), followed by home games against Western foes Denver (3-3) and Utah (5-1). Normally I would be happy with two of three victories, but if the Cavs are going to be an elite team then they must protect their home floor.

Next up are back-to-back road games against New Jersey and Detroit. The Pistons are still a strong contender, and the Cavs will likely drop this game since it is on the road, and the second night of a back-to-back. After two days of rest, the Cavs return home against a surprising Atlanta squad.

The final week of the month matches the Cavs at New York, home against Oklahoma City and Golden State, and on the road against Milwaukee. Normally this should result in four wins, however two back-to-backs in a row may be too much to sustain the strong play.

At worst, I suspect the Cavs should finish the month of November with a record of 12-5. This is one time where I am happy to be wrong with my previous prediction that the team would hover near .500 to open the season.

While encouraging to see, there is a lot of room for growth on this team. The 2007-2008 Celtics did not lose their fifth game until January 12th. Then again, the Cavs are on pace to win 58 games...if the first two weeks of November mean anything.

Stay tuned.

No comments: