Why the Cleveland Cavaliers need to improve quickly

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers were regrouping after a stunning loss to Boston in the NBA Playoffs.

This year, Cleveland’s season ended weeks ago with a 19-63 record.

It was a weird year for the team.

Even with all of the losses, the Cavaliers did beat the Heat, Celtics and Lakers this year, so there is some hope.

But after several years of contending for the championship, the Cavaliers need to quickly show signs of improvement and contend for the playoffs or risk becoming an after thought.

They may not even get that chance with a potentially long lockout this summer.

But for now, the team’s next big step is to get ready for the NBA Draft Lottery tonight (8:30 p.m., ESPN).

Cleveland has two lottery picks and two second-round picks this year and a $14 million trade exception to use during the off-season.

This is their opportunity to improve.

There are several interesting players in the draft.

I personally like Kyrie Irving of Duke, Derrick Williams of Arizona and Kemba Walker of Connecticut.

I’d take Williams and Walker and the Cavaliers may end up with both players in the June draft.

Williams reminds me of a poor-man’s LeBron James and Walker reminds me of a young Dwyane Wade.

It will be also interesting to see how potential free agents react to team owner Dan Gilbert.

Although it was satisfying to many fans to see Gilbert rip James for leaving Cleveland, his actions may give other free agents pause before coming the Cavs.

Either way, Cleveland has a lot to prove.

It’s time for them to put up or risk fading into obscurity.

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Posted on May 17, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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