I wonder if Tristan Thompson still thinks the Cleveland Cavaliers are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference? It was absurd when he said it, and it definitely doesn't hold water now that Kevin Love is out after undergoing surgery.
But it's worse than you think.
Love will be out the next six weeks or so, and because we live in a small-ball era, the only stretch-four the Cavaliers still have on their roster is Sam Dekker. That's it.
Every team wants to stretch the floor and play small ball, and the Cavs are no different. However, they currently don't have the personnel to do that now that Love is out for the next couple of months.
In the last week the Cavs: fired their coach, fought with assistant over becoming interim, had JR Smith ask for a trade, landed 2022 All-Star Game, had Kevin Love go down for 6 weeks with surgery, got sued by a former coach & then flamed the former coach & his lawyer— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) November 2, 2018
Cleveland wasn't a real contender to begin with, so maybe Dekker getting more experience and minutes is a positive for the long term of this franchise. At least they'll know what they have in Dekker. But the objective is to win games, and it's only going to be that much harder now that Love is out, especially since they don't have the depth to cover up his absence.