With players getting healthy and the newbies continuing to get settled in, the Cavs are getting closer to being in full force for the playoffs.
Anderson Varejo returned on February 26th, after missing 13 games with a sprained left ankle. Sasha Pavlovic made his return on March 12th against the New Jersey Nets, after being out 7 weeks with a sprained left foot. Zydrunas Ilgauskas came back this past Sunday, March 16th, after suffering a lower back injury, and missing the most games this season of his 7-season career. Ben Wallace is back after being out a couple days due to back spasms suffered in the March 10th game against Portland.
Since Eric Snow, the Cavs veteran point guard, will be out for the remainder of the season with a left knee injury, the only return the Cavs are awaiting is that of their 3-point marksman, Prince Gibson. His return is slated for a week or so. This is a good sign for the Cavs as they enter the home-stretch heading into the playoffs.
Tonight the Cavs play the, now ranked #3, Orlando Magic. They will face the team again in April. Wednesday, they play the Detroit Pistons, whom they will see 2 more times before the season ends – one of those being the Cavs season finale.
During this stretch, the Wine and Gold will also play the Toronto Raptors once and the Philadelphia 76ers twice, either of whom they may meet in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Right now the team is sitting on a 38-29 record, with 15 games left in the season. In order to continue their 2-year, 50-game winning streak, they would have to win 12 of those 15 games. Can they do this?
Well…anything is possible when you have the guy with the number 2 followed by the number 3 on his jersey. However, I would much rather see the team focus on fine tuning their offense, getting everyone adjusted to Mike Browns defensive scheme, and simply playing these last few games with passion and intensity, than worrying about a 50-win season stat.
None of that really matters once you hit the playoffs anyway. I don’t care if you do win 50+ games during the regular season. If you get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, trust me…that record will mean nothing to the team, the organization, the fans, or anyone else for that matter.
So, the playful regular season ends here, and the real playoff preparation begins now. It is during these final games of the season that a team must prove whether or not they are playoff worthy, and if they have what it takes to contend for an NBA title.
Not that all games must be won (though that would be nice and a guaranteed momentum-booster), but every game must definitely be a fight and a draw for fresh blood. With that said, lets see how the Cavs step up.