Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant believes that despite the fact the Cleveland Cavaliers are reeling, having lost four games in a row and nine of their last 12, they will be fine and will make an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2018.
If those words sound odd, here they are from Durant himself, per Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports.
With their annual January swoon resulting in four losses in a row and nine of 12, and a shoddy, near-basement-dwelling defense, the Cavaliers are raising more doubt. But Durant cautions against dismissing them, especially based on two games spread out over three weeks. The Warriors expect Cleveland to be the team that inevitably comes out of the East.
“They’ve got the most talent in the East. LeBron. D-Wade. They’re champions. The rest of them are champions. They got veteran guys with bright basketball minds,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “They’ll figure it out.”
Durant’s words make sense on an intellectual level. Yes, James and Dwyane Wade are talented players. Yes, the Cavaliers also have Isaiah Thomas and Kevin Love and shooters such as Kyle Korver.
But, are the Cavaliers the best in the East? Right now, Cleveland sits at third place in the Eastern Conference, behind the Boston Celtics (first) and the Toronto Raptors (second). So far, the Cavaliers have underachieved in relation to the players they have on their roster.
The only problem is, their roster is old. James may be considered the best player in the NBA, but even he is having trouble leading this roster past this stretch in January.
Durant may end up being right about his prediction. But the Cavaliers aren’t doing much at the moment for fans to believe in them right now.