As the NBA season heads towards the three-month mark, the Cleveland Cavaliers are struggling once again. The team did not come to play at all against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, and fans are clamoring for a big move to help save the Cavs. Until that happens, however, the team’s roster construction will remain stagnant. The following is my third and current ranking of that roster.
1. LeBron James
James has shown some signs of struggle (by his standards). He is averaging just 21 points per game in January, and 24.4 ppg over his last ten games. Nevertheless, he remains in contention for the Most Valuable Player Award.
2. Kevin Love
Playing at center has helped Love improve in Cleveland. He has more room to take outside shots, which has done wonders for his efficiency. Love should be an All-Star.
The point guard has come along more quickly than expected on the floor, but is still waiting for his three-point stroke to return fully. Thomas has to do a better job of staying composed when frustrated—he could have been suspended for his throat chop against Andrew Wiggins.
4. Dwyane Wade
The veteran continues to be Cleveland’s second-unit anchor. He was one of the few Cavaliers to show up against Minnesota, scoring 13 points while recording six assists and four rebounds.
5. Jeff Green
Green has slowed down a little bit from his scorching-hot start, but still provides impressive scoring ability and an energetic bounce many of the other older Cavaliers lack.
6. Kyle Korver
Playing a full season in Cleveland with LeBron James has aided Korver, giving him an array of open shots. He is currently shooting an incredible 44.8% from three-point range.
7. Cedi Osman
The rookie has performed strongly when given playing time. Accordingly, he is beginning to see the court more and more, playing 13 and 16 minutes in his last two games, respectively. He can shoot and run the floor.
Calderon has seen his playing time dwindle with the return of Thomas, but continues to shoot the ball well in limited time—46.3% from three for the season.
Frye has not seen the court much since Tristan Thompson’s return, but Cleveland fans have been calling for him. He fits in much better with the second-unit because of his three-point shooting.
10. J.R. Smith
The 32-year-old has struggled defensively and has been inconsistent with his jump shot. Nevertheless, he can contribute a lot when he is hot from the floor.
11. Tristan Thompson
The forward has been criticized a lot this season, but he can still rebound and defend when he plays with energy. The problem is that his energy has been dramatically lacking so far.
12. Jae Crowder
Yikes. Crowder has missed on his last 13 three-point attempts and is somehow playing worse than before. He needs to have his playing time reduced.
13. Derrick Rose
Rose will struggle to see the floor once he returns from injury. His lack of shooting makes him often unplayable with the second-unit.
14. Iman Shumpert
The Cavaliers will look to trade him as soon as he is healthy.
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