The Cleveland Cavaliers are on a five-game losing streak, and the outlook for the team has darkened after its 8-1 start.
Overall, it still has a very promising future, but some issues have been exposed, and if these issues don’t get rectified, its present could become somewhat problematic.
These two issues could be Cleveland’s biggest concerns, and fixing them will be the key to getting back into the victory column.
1. Bench Production
There is no question that the Cavs have one of the better starting fives in the NBA and quite possibly its best starting backcourt.
But when they go to their bench, their production dramatically dips, which ultimately puts more pressure on men such as Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland to carry the team.
As of this writing, Cleveland is 26th in the league in bench scoring at 29.5 points per game.
It may not need anyone coming off the pine who will average in the teens scoring-wise, but certain players do need to step up.
The biggest candidate would appear to be Isaac Okoro, who is producing just 2.7 points on 35.9 percent shooting in 16.4 minutes a game this season.
Best & Worst efficient shooters based on points per 100 shot attempts
1. Grant Williams (152.3)
2. Sam Hauser
3. Daniel Gafford
4. Steph Curry
5. Dean Wade
6. Bol Bol
7. Josh Green
Killian Hayes (76.7) pic.twitter.com/oAZgb1Z4DF
— Coast 2 Coast (@Coast2CoastNBA) November 17, 2022
2. Perimeter Defense
The Cavs have one of the best shot-blocking, rim-protecting duos in the game with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen manning the paint.
But their perimeter defense has been a bit soft lately.
They’re 23rd in 3-point shooting percentage allowed, and lately, outside shooting has been a huge problem defensively.
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks shot 41.0 percent from 3-point range, as center Brook Lopez laced in 7-of-9 from that distance.
On Sunday, it was even worse: The Minnesota Timberwolves went 12-of-24 from downtown, and guard D’Angelo Russell burned Cleveland by going 11-of-13 from the field overall.
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