HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When does a little losing skid turn into an epic slide?
We’d say right about now for the Cleveland Cavaliers, losers of a staggering 21 straight and 31 of their last 32 games. They sit at a league-worst 8-40, the first team in the league to reach 40 losses. Last season, they were the first team to 40 wins.
They are just four shy of the NBA record for most consecutive games lost, territory no team wants to enter. (Coincidentally, that would break an NBA record the Cleveland franchise already owns — a 24-game slide that spanned over two seasons, from March to November 1982.)
Turning a blind eye to their plight worked for much of the past couple months. But we can’t ignore them anymore. Not with them on a collision course with history. They’ve lost 24 straight road games. Twenty-four straight.
How do you continue to grind through this sort of epic streak of futility?
“Keep fighting,” coach Byron Scott told reporters before Monday’s loss in Miami, of all places. “That’s all you can do. You’re either going to fight or you’re going to lay down. I don’t think we’ve got guys who are going to lay down.”
The Cavs haven’t given up the fight. In fact, their resolve has been nothing short of remarkable. It’s the reason we’re here at the hideout today rooting for them to get a win and keep from becoming the poster team for all-time awful. Because no team, no group of men who call themselves professionals, want to wear that tag.
We’ve been an eyewitness to some horrific seasons before, the Hawks’ 13-69 nose-pincher of 2004-05 was as tough a year to endure for those of us covering and observing the team as it was for the coaches and players who lived through it. Yet as bad as it was, it never got to the point where the Cavs are right now (granted, the Hawks never had to deal with the double-shot power of being jilted by the hometown hero for the bright lights of Miami and an unprecedented skid on the court).
At a certain point, there are no words that can suppress the frustration of being on the wrong side of the scoreboard every night. Nothing but an extended winning streak can help heal these wounds. And the Cavs can’t even manage one win these days.
They play Indiana Wednesday, but face a Pacers team that will be operating on the cosmic fumes of a coaching change that usually lasts for three or four games, at least. They will face the Hang Time Grizzlies in Memphis Friday, a team that has won six of its last seven games, including a big win over Orlando last night that pushed them over .500 for the first time this season. They host Portland Saturday, travel to Dallas Feb. 7 and then host Detroit Feb. 9.
You do the math.
Barring an upset in next few days, infamy is on the way for the Cavs. And you wouldn’t wish that sort of fate on your worst enemy, let alone a beleaguered bunch trying figure out how stomach going from first to worst in a span of months.
Hey, it’s not all bad news today.
We will leave you with the Top 10 Plays: