It’s going to take time before the Cleveland Cavaliers with the returning LeBron James, staying Kyrie Irving and joinee Kevin Love look like a title contender on a consistent basis. After a rough loss in Portland to the Trail Blazers, the memes focused on their failure to deliver early.
James had a very bad game. Only 11 points on 4-of-12 from the field. Funny thing is? He wasn’t the worse of the big three. Kevin Love wasn’t bad in his power forward duel with LaMarcus Aldridge, but Kyrie Irving scored just nine points on 3-of-17 from the field.
There’s no use comparing James through three games to other players like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. The theories about him being on the decline might be true, but it’s guessing at this point. Basing it on his different body frame or his age makes sense, but it takes a larger sample size to decide for sure.
For now, the Cavaliers are a project, trying to gel. David Blatt is a new coach, there are plenty of new, key players. A 19-point loss in Portland isn’t a nice thing to have to go through, but the Heat during their first season of the big three era and even later, in the championship years, had quite a few rough moments to weather.