The Cleveland Cavaliers are much, much worse this season as compared to last year. This isn't shocking: when you trade the two-time reigning MVP for nothing, you're going to suffer. LeBron James' Miami flight sucked all the wind out of Cleveland's kite, and the Cavs have hurtled back to Earth.
The Cavaliers are one of four teams with winning records in 2009-10 that saw their per-game scoring margin fall by at least four points, joining the Phoenix Suns (who lost Amar'e Stoudemire), the Portland Trail Blazers (who lost, for all intents and purposes, Brandon Roy) and the Charlotte Bobcats (who lost Raymond Felton and any spirit to compete).
Take a visual look at just how bad Cleveland's fall has been relative to the NBA's other divers.
That's right: the disapparition of LeBron, Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West, Zydrunas Ilgaukas and Mike Brown caused a 16.5-point swing in the team's per-game performance. Last year, the Cavs outscored by almost seven points a game. This year? They are outscored by a shade under 10.
Those slides by the Suns (6.6-point swing), Charlotte (6.3 points) and Portland (4.4) are bad, too. But nothing like the culture shock Cleveland has experienced. At least the city is taking it in stride, right?
From SB Nation Cavs blog Fear the Sword, a fan takes his or her frustration out on Dan Gilbert:
That can be found on the Basketball-Reference page for the 2010-11 Cavaliers. Fun times in C-Town!