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Sports


The Cleveland Cavaliers: What went wrong?
Terry Pluto says there might be some big changes in store after the Cavs' abysmal season
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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More restructuring could be on the horizon for the Cleveland Cavaliers after an abysmal season. They’re currently riding a four game losing streak and have never gelled as a team all season, despite having all-star point guard Kyrie Irving and the top pick in last year’s draft. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto weighs in. 

LISTEN: Terry Pluto talks Cavs

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LISTEN: Terry Pluto talks MAC Tournament pressure on schools and coaches

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Before the NBA season began, Terry Pluto admits, he predicted the Cavs would go 40-42.

“That’s the thing about the internet -- you can never run from your predictions. And I thought, ‘Was I delirious or what?’”

If he was, he wasn’t alone. The analytics at ESPN guess the team would finish with 37 wins. Right now, they’re 24-40, so “clearly they’re underachieving.”

Why are they underachieving? 
Speculation on why varies. The Cavs apparently zeroed in on General Manager Chris Grant, who they fired. Pluto says it may be bigger than that.

“No. 1, the draft didn’t work out well for them. Anthony Bennett, their No. 1 pick, is averaging about 4 points per game (and now is out three weeks with a knee injury).”

And Pluto says the younger players may have been on losing teams too long. “Two years of just playing for ping pong balls, when these games suddenly mattered, they had no clue how to win.”

Is the coach to blame?
Coach Mike Brown was brought in to make defense better at a time when “the league is moving in a more direction of scoring and offense,” Pluto added. “The last time I checked there were about 10 teams averaging at least 100 points. A few years ago, there were three.”

And the Cavs are 30th of 30 in field-goal percentage.

“They’re just not getting good shots,” and more than half the time, they’re losing by 10 points of more.

“This has certainly been the most challenging and frustrating year for Mike Brown,” Pluto says. And for Cleveland fans.


Who’s been more frustrating to watch this year, the Browns or the Cavs?
"In some ways I think it was the Cavs because you didn’t see the predictions for the Browns, from the analytics people, saying they oughta go 8-8. But the Cavs, a lot of people thought they’d be near .500 in a very bad Eastern Conference, and they’re not even close.”

And now they’re heading into a brutal part of the schedule against West Coast teams, with a lot of unanswered questions for next year.

“Can David Griffin, the new general manager, be the guy who can make some moves and change this thing around? Is Mike Brown the right coach? Do you go Cleveland Browns and fire everybody?”


Related WKSU Stories

The bond that ties two former Cavs stars
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers' firing of the GM in midseason is an unusual move
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cavs make big trade in hopes to still make the playoffs
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Irving is in NBA’s elite, but can he pull the rest of the Cavs with him?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cavs shock experts and fans by selecting UNLV's Bennet
Friday, June 28, 2013

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