Cleveland is accustomed to losing. The losses pile up nearly as much as the complaints about coaches, players, and the teams as a whole. The fans of Cleveland are tired of losing. They’ve been losing for as long as they can remember and things don’t seem to be changing. Well, sadly, the status quo is looking to be just that: the status quo.
The Cavaliers are off to a rough start in their campaign. After starting off 2-2, the Cavs have lost 6 straight giving them a record of 2-6. Everyone knows what the Cavs problem is. Even to the untrained eye, you can tell that when the starters come off of the floor, the Cavaliers lead goes down the tubes. They have no bench, and sadly, there is no solution in sight.
The Browns are having yet another crumby season on the banks of Lake Erie. Close game after close game, the Browns have the exact same record as the Cavaliers: 2-8. The Browns have seemingly gotten better as their record has gotten worse. It’s an enigma that could only happen in Cleveland. Hope for the Browns is on the horizon, however, as new owner Jimmy Haslam is looking to shake things up within the organization.
It won’t last long, but at this moment the Cavs and Browns have an eerily similar situation on their hands. Both are 2-8, both play incredibly close games, and both are stocked full of young and undeveloped talent.
So which season has been more miserable? Which team has more hope? These are all the questions I’ve been waiting to answer.
The Cavs have truly disappointed me this year. Obviously the starting five has been brilliant. To watch the start of the game is to watch a future force in the NBA. Kyrie and Anderson Varejao have been playing at an All Star Caliber level. Tristan Thompson, while still needing to show offensive growth, has shown some promise. Certainly Dion Waiters has been a pleasant surprise, as we’ve seen his great ability to score the basketball, and even Alonzo Gee has been about as good as we expected up to this point. That’s about where the positives end.
Tyler Zeller has been injured, Boobie Gibson has found his stroke again, but other than these two guys, the bench has been absolutely horrific. C.J. Miles is playing well below average, the rest of the bench barely has any competence and probably should not be allowed to play on an NBA floor.
The bench is so bad that people are actually questioning Byron Scott’s ability as a coach. Come on people. Seriously? A bench with Omri Casspi, Luke Walton, Jon Leuer, and (as much as it pains me to say this) Samardo Samuels, and you are calling for Byron’s head? Get real. Byron is doing a terrific job with the young talent on this roster, and will only continue to better his team once Chris Grant eliminates the Cavaliers bench.
The Browns season has been marred by an absolute disgust for Browns head coach Pat Shurmur. Some say it may be warranted, some say it may be unfair, but in either case, the dislike for Shurmur is the majority. His terrible gameplans, his awful press conferences, his lack of aggression, his comic over-aggression, his unyielding ego, his “battling”, and his inability to manage a clock have all but ruined the Browns season.
On the other hand, the Browns talent seems to have people excited. While in no way has Brandon Weeden been incredible, he has certainly proven to Browns fans that he can get it done as a starting quarterback, all be it a near 30 year old one. Trent Richardson has been as good as advertised, maybe a little jumpy, but a playmaker nonetheless. Josh Gordon has come out and shown that he is a somewhat capable receiver, and even after a laughable start, Greg Little has come out showing Browns fans that he is committed to getting better.
A tale of two different situations marked by the same record, which is worse?
I would say the Cavs have an upper-leg on the Browns. The Browns, with a new head coach, could very well be near the .500 mark this season. Weeden has made some rookie mistakes, Trent as well, but the Browns are definitely taking steps forward. They have been in every game this season, often “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”, as only the Browns can. Their defense has shown signs of dominance, and the offense can actually put something on the board, despite Pat Shurmur’s best efforts.
The Cavs starting lineup is way better than the Browns starting lineup, if they are at all comparable, however, the bench is just so disappointing that it makes the Browns look like the Steelers. The Cavs bench really isn’t anyone’s fault. I doubt it’s Byron’s fault, it’s not really Chris Grant’s fault, it’s just the players and their lack of talent. Guys like Samardo, who put so much work in in the offseason, just aren’t getting results, for whatever reason. I think that reason is simply that they don’t have the natural ability to play at a high level in the NBA. If the Cavaliers had a bench, we would be discussing a very different story right now. While they don’t have a bench, I would say that the Cavs and Browns stand about equal in the promising future department.
All in all, the all-too-familiar disappointment of the Cavaliers and Browns is upon us again. Yet another lottery pick, yet another top 5 selection seem to be in the future of both franchises. For the Cavs, it’s going to take more talent to get them to where they need to go. For the Browns, it’s going to take a new coach and the help of a new owner. Who knows when these teams will be playoff worthy, but hopefully it is sooner rather than later. The future is bright, it’s just a matter of how quickly we can get there!
We’re Cleveland, we can weather the storm. We are tougher than any fans in sports. I know it looks tough, and it is, but once these teams get to where they need to be, the victories will be that much sweeter!
Beat Michigan! Go Browns! Go Cavs!
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove