Oct 1, 2012; Independence, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left) laughs while posing with guard Dion Waiters during media day at the Cleveland Clinic Courts. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

SI's Cleveland Cavaliers' Season Grade


The Cleveland Cavaliers season left many, including this writer, confused and uncertain. Sports Illustrated quantified those feelings into a letter grade for us. Grades are interesting in that they are subjective, debatable and generally not agreed upon. That might not be true with the grade they gave the Cavs. The team did win 9 more games they they did the year prior. I will give my thoughts, 33 of them to be exact, on the Cavaliers near lunch time today. Now on to SI’s grading:

Cleveland Cavaliers

Final Grade: F | Midseason Grade: C-

32-49, No. 10 in the East | Midseason record: 15-27, No. 10 in the East

As far as I can tell, here’s a complete list of Cleveland’s unqualified successes this season:

1. Turning the undrafted Matthew Dellavedova into a passable rotation player.

2. Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement ceremony.

What is interesting about these grades is the change. At Midseason they gave the Cavs a higher grade then they did their final grade, even though the Cavs finished well once David Griffin took over. The Cavs season could easily be considered a failure given the amount of young talent on the team and the stated demand of not returning to the NBA Lottery. But lets delve a littler deeper into their analysis:

Many of those items were open questions entering the season, pivot points that could have gone either way. More troubling than the fact that just about every coin flip went against the Cavaliers is that their one sure thing — franchise point guard Kyrie Irving — regressed. Irving missed an extended stretch because of injuries for the third consecutive season, and his 42.9 percent shooting is simply unacceptable for a player who is launching nearly 18 times per game. To make matters worse, rumors of locker-room infighting, ego battles and unhappiness in Cleveland engulfed Irving’s third season to the point that he felt compelled to push back against the talk repeatedly. This nonsense shouldn’t surround a 22-year-old who is so gifted that he’s capable of winning the All-Star MVP award.

They are correct, pretty much every thing that could go wrong did go wrong for the Cavs. Andrew Bynum was an abject failure, but did help the Cavs get Luol Deng, who was mediocre at best once coming over. Jarrett Jack struggled to find his role until later in the season. Anthony Bennett showed signs of talent but couldn’t put it all together and then struggled with an injury. Irving and Dion Waiters couldn’t capitalize on their time together and were often not on the court together, until the end of the season.

The Cavs deserve the Grade of F. They were sometimes Fun. They sometimes played at a Frenetic pace. They got the Fans to react, both good and bad. They lacked Focus. They Frustrated. Their efforts became Futile. They Failed at their goals. The enter the off-season seeking a Foundation.

How would you grade the Cavs season?

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Jarod Cook

    Everything in this article points to one underlining tone, and that’s bad coaching. With this much young talent and potential, to not be able to pull out at least a .500 record in the Eastern Conference is pathetic. But the season was really over before it begone with the horrible off season moves they made. Taking a project player with the #1 overall pick and signing Bynum, wore moves doomed to fail from the beginning. They got a serviceable player in Deng from the Bynum trade, but he’ll probably leave for greener pastures in FA. Same could be said about Hawes, but at least they manged to shed some bad contracts in a trade for him.
    When it was all said and done, I’d give them a D for a grade on the season. But I would’ve giving them an A if they had just fired Mike Brown half way threw the season, cause he clearly has no idea how to manage a team.

    • Letterman007

      Got to agree with you Jarod, I for the life of me can’t figure out why Brown was brought back with such a large contract, unless there is a conspiracy in Cleveland sports to who can pay the most to formerly employed coaches!! It’s a race between the Cav’s and the Browns? Mike Brown has no business coaching in this league or most other ones I can think of off the top of my head!!

      • Jarod Cook

        Personally i think it was a play to get Lebron back into Cleveland. Seeing as how him and Lebron like each other. I never really thought Lebron was going to be coming back in the first place, and after this atrocious season I defiantly don’t see him coming back. I for the life of me don’t understand how some of these coaches have jobs also. When you see Chicago’s coach doing more with less. It’s because his players respect him, and he’s willing to sit his starters if he doesn’t think they’re giving it their all.
        Brown doesn’t command the respect of his players, and they in turn just walk all over him. IMO Brown has never been a good coach and has always had a superstar on his team I.E. Kobe, Lebron to do what he can’t do, and that’s lead a team. If they for some reason keep him on for anther year, I won’t have to watch any of the games to know they’ll be sitting on the outside looking in again.

        • Letterman007

          I really don’t think LBJ is or was ever going to come anywhere near Cleveland except in another teams jersey!! I don’t think he respects Brown or Gilbert and is laughing at the franchise secretly, while trying to maintain some kind of relationship with the area. Akron is his home and it was too bad that gilbert and Ferry messed up when he was here!! If you are going to sink a lot of money into this team, then do it with the people that have a track record. Spend a couple bucks extra and get the right guy to build this team!! Not some hot shot than has some new idea’s and ends up throwing your money down a pit like all the free agents Ferry and Grant have over paid and never worked out. get a George Karl or a Van Gundy , at least someone that has an idea how to coach!