Five Reasons Why There’s No Need to Panic over Cavs’ Recent Play

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With LeBron James getting Tuesday night off, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell apart in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets and saw their record drop to 5-4 over their last nine games.

They have now lost five home games since Tyronn Lue took over as head coach in late January. To put it another way, that’s five more than the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have lost all season combined.

Discouraging as those numbers might appear, it would be unwise to suggest they foretell a playoff run shorter than fans in Cleveland are expecting, if not outright demanding. Here are five reasons why the Cavs are well-equipped to shrug off a few recent road bumps and eventually reach the NBA Finals for a second year in a row.

1. LeBron Is Still LeBron

LeBron James vs. Boston Celtics on March 5, 2016

Remember the concern during training camp and preseason about how an anti-inflammatory injection in his back was keeping him basically off the court? That’s ancient history now. James had sat out only three of the Cavs’ first 73 games before being told Monday he would rest against the Rockets as a precaution.

His workload has not been burdensome; he has topped the 40-minute mark six times, and just twice since Lue replaced David Blatt. And even before registering a pair of triple-doubles in the past 10 days, no one was about to suggest he looked older than 31. Yes, his three-point shooting accuracy and frequency at getting to the free-throw line are both career lows (since his rookie season), but neither figure is cause for alarm.

Next: They’re Tops in the East

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Ken Hornack is a longtime NBA sports journalist. Before covering the Orlando Magic for the Daytona Beach News-Journal and, the native of the Cleveland area got his foot in the door with the Cavaliers during the Tom Nissalke coaching era and will forever associate his senior year of high school with the Miracle of Richfield. You can follow him @Ken_Hornack.