With the NBA season 17 games deep for our Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s about time we can assess what’s working and what’s not. Starting the season off 13-4, an Eastern Conference best, isn’t a bad start, but there is still some room for improvement with our Cavs. We look at the five areas the Cavs need the most work.

1. Free Throw Shooting

So far this season, the Cavaliers suck from the line, it’s as simple as that. It’s a tossup between LeBron James and J.R. Smith for the lowlight here. While averaging 7.3 free throw attempts a game, James is shooting a woeful 62% from the line. How on earth could Smith be worse than that you ask? He’s shooting 33% from the line.

As a team, Cleveland have the third worst free throw percentage in the entire league. The only teams shooting worse than the Cavs are the Clippers and Detroit, which makes sense with each team having DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond respectively.

Free throw shooting may not seem like much, but it really can be the difference in winning and losing games. Cleveland have lost three games so far this season. The first was the lost to the Bulls on opening night by 2 points, Cleveland went 10-17 at the line. Second, losing to the Bucks by 3 in 2OT, Cleveland went 17-27 from the line. Thirdly, losing to the Pistons by 5, going 12-20 from the line. Those foul shot attempts are the difference in an undefeated season so far.

Click ‘Next’ to see the second area the Cavs need to improve on!

2. Steals

Defensively the Cavaliers have actually been a really tough team this season. They only allow their opponents to shot 43% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. Cleveland truly struggle at stripping the other team of the ball before they get a chance to shoot the ball, ranking dead last in team steals.

Transition baskets after a steal are some of the easiest points you’ll ever score in a game of basketball. While the Cavs rank 3rd in points per game at 104.9, they’re doing it the harder way in a half-court offense.

Click ‘Next’ to see the third area the Cavs need to improve on!

3. Ball Movement

This one isn’t so much a need to improve, but a need to continue a trend.

When Cleveland revert back to an isolation basketball game, it sucks to watch. Finding LeBron on the wing possession after possession watching his do weird dance moves and throwing in a couple thousand jab steps gets old pretty quick. It also becomes very predictable and easy to defend for opposition teams. But when the Cavs start whipping the ball around the court, they become an incredibly tough team to beat.

After LeBron went public with members of the media saying that Cleveland needed to drastically improve their drive and hunger for winning, things have been visibly different. A standout of those efforts has definitely been ball movement and each player working their behind off to get themselves open.

There were more than a few occasions during Monday night’s blowout victory against Orlando that had me loudly clapping and cheering in my living room, gleefully watching as the Cavs kept racking up assists whipping the ball around in the front court.

Matthew Dellavedova played a mountain of minutes in the absence of Mo and Kyrie, and did so brilliantly. He finished with 9 dimes initiating the offense, while LeBron led the way with 13 assists.

Cleveland rank as the fourth best team in the NBA with 25.1 APG, and rank third best in the league with a 64.4 assist percentage (percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on the floor).

Click ‘Next’ to see the fourth area the Cavs need to improve on!

4. Keeping Players Healthy

While this isn’t something Cleveland can do too much about, the injury situation is getting out of hand. Cleveland are still waiting on the 2015/16 debuts of their starting backcourt (Irving & Shumpert), and have seen Mozgov, Smith and Williams miss games due to injuries. David Griffin has done an excellent job of adding depth to this squad, and that’s what helped them to an 12-4 start even with a hampered squad.

The news keeps getting better regarding a Kyrie Irving return, while Shumpert just has to wait for the bones to heal. The approach for the Cavs and their injured guys has to be patience. Let’s face it, Cleveland would find themselves with a high playoff seed in the East with LeBron James and 12 6th graders, so there’s no need to rush back Kyrie and Shump.

Click ‘Next’ to see the final area the Cavs need to improve on!

5. Consistency

The Cavs have a solid 13-4 record, but have struggled to stay consistent. They have yet to play a game to the best of their abilities for all 48 minutes, and need to get ready for the return of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. Sure, it’s still early in the season, but they’ll need to start building good habits as soon as possible.

The whole roster will look to adjust to their returns, which will surely bring some consistency issues at first, but this team is talented enough to adjust and prepare for the postseason.