With the baseball season beginning, the shift from basketball season is taking effect. And when your team is 22-and-52, the shift seems to come much easier. Eight games remain in this long, brutal season. As the summer hits, some very important questions need to be answered.
Kyrie Irving’s health
These last eight games and the following off-season are crucial for Irving to get and stay healthy. With his broken hand last summer, this will be the first summer Irving can fully dedicate to working on his game. It is still too early to call Irving injury-prone, because other than his minor shoulder injury, he has had some freak accidents. Nevertheless, Irving’s health this summer will play a major role in whether the Cavaliers can look to contend next season.
The 2013 NBA Draft
The last few weeks of this season are important to Cavs fans, whether you realize it or not. While the Cavs are playing for ping-pong balls, you should be rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers to make the playoffs. Currently, the Lakers are the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and if they stay there, Cleveland gets their first round pick. With potentially two of the top 14 picks and four picks overall, it will be interesting to see how Chris Grant uses them. The obvious needs for this team are at the small forward and center positions. Alonzo Gee would be a better option at small forward off the bench, and the Cavs need an athletic big man to go with Tyler Zeller. I look for Grant to go small forward with the early pick, and don’t be surprised if he makes a move like last June, where he traded three picks for the rights to Zeller.
Byron Scott’s future
Recently, rumors about the future of Byron Scott have circulated. Players have anonymously complained about Scott’s practice style, and many in the media feel that Scott has lost his players. The Cavs are showing little effort, and when Kyrie Irving was asked about if he feels his teammates have given up, Irving answered, “I think you should ask them. I’m not going to be the one to answer that”. Currently on a 10-game losing streak, the coaching ability has come into question with Scott. They were recently blown out by the Brooklyn Nets, and blew a 27-point lead to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Now, in Scott’s defense, he hasn’t been handed a roster full of truly talented NBA players, but he has lost his team, and his coaching style clearly isn’t popular with the fans. On several occasions, Scott should have used a timeout, either to kill momentum from the other team, or to get his team together. More than once Scott has ended a game with timeouts in his pocket. His rotations have also been criticized, pulling players when they are hot, or sitting key players too long. This will be a big story to follow into the summer. Cavs fans will not stand another season of losing, and if Dan Gilbert wants to keep any interest in the team from the fans, he will definitely need to look at his options.