The Cavs, with LeBron James starting a point guard (where's Dajuan Wagner?) have just won their 10th game in a row and their record stands at 40-11. You know what their record was last season at this time? 40-11.
Think about that. After all the early season questions (I mean, people seriously lost their shit after that Toronto loss) and tough schedule (all the 4-in-5s and back-to-backs), Cavs have matched the pace of last season's 66 win team.
Would anyone out there take last year's squad over this current one? I know I wouldn't.
(For what it's worth, I didn't set the VCR last night and I only caught some of the third and all of the fourth. Not exactly an exciting finish).
This is why I'm so torn on the trade deadline. For some time now I've been saying that while the Cavs should make a trade, they don't have to.
Obviously, I understand why people want the Cavs to make a deal. The Cavs showed last season that having the best regular season record doesn't mean jack come playoff time. You couple that with the fact that the Cavs sat on Wally Szczerbiak's expiring deal and some fans are convinced that Cavs must make a move.
I get all that. I really do. But this team is different. Last year's team had significant matchup problems with other elite teams, this year's team doesn't have that. And letting go of Wally is a tad easier to swallow than parting with longtime Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas (both emotionally and basketball-wise). While both were role players, Z is Shaq's backup and a nice insurance policy in case the big fella goes down (or do you trust a Cleveland team to stay healthy for the playoffs? We don't need another Jim Chones situation).
The best case scenario is the Cavs getting someone like Antawn Jamison or Andre Iguodala for Z's contract and then having Washington or Philly buy out Z. But from what I've read, teams seem to be asking a lot from Danny Ferry (Indiana wanted Z, J.J. and multiple picks for Troy Murphy. HAHAHAHA). The thinking goes that since LeBron can walk this summer, the Cavs will be eager to make a deal that put them over the hump and other team can take advantage of their supposedly desperate situation.
But that's the thing, the Cavs shouldn't be desperate. Obviously, I'd love to add a player like Jamison, Iguodala or Amare Stoudemire, but I don't want Ferry to feel like he has to. The last thing I want is some panic trade. Just because you stood pat last season and didn't win it all doesn't mean you're doomed to lose this year if you fail to find a trade. Name me a team that the Cavs matchup poorly with? There's no team out there like Orlando last year that creates a mismatch at three different positions. The Cavs are versatile, they're flexible and they beat the good teams.
The Cavs top win streak is 11. Their next two games are against the Knicks and the Nets. I will be seriously disappointed if they don't get to 12.