Cleveland Cavaliers

Sun, 11 Jan 2009 23:06

Cleveland Cavaliers

About the NBA team Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, also known as the Cavs, are a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise that has been playing in the league since 1970. The team has struggled through much of its history and has not yet won an NBA Championship title. Much of the success that the Cavs have garnered has come in their most recent seasons, after acquiring the “King”, LeBron James. Up to the end of the 2007-08 season, the Cavs have accumulated 16 Playoff appearances, one Division Champion title, three Conference Finals appearances, and one NBA Finals appearance. The Cavaliers play their home games at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio and their team colors are gold, white, navy blue, and wine. Read on to learn more about the Cleveland Cavaliers and their franchise history.

Cleveland Cavaliers – expansion team troubles

When the Cleveland Cavaliers joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970, they experienced many of the troubles that most expansion teams encounter in their early seasons. In fact, the Cavs' first season still stands as their worst season in franchise history, with only 15 wins and 67 losses. In the following season, the Cavs acquired Austin Carr, who is known for his great scoring capabilities in college. While Carr was able to make the All-NBA Rookie Team, the Cavs' record only showed little improvement over the previous season. The Cavs' record for the 1971-72 season was 23-59 and they continued to struggle for their first four seasons, as the team could not get their winning percentage over 40%.

Cleveland Cavaliers – signs of improvement

In the 1974-75 season, the Cavs were able to improve on their play, improving their record drastically and ending the season with 40 wins and 42 losses. The 1975-76 season would be the first time that the Cavs would make it to the NBA Playoffs. The team had a regular season record of 49-33 and they won the Central Division title. The Cavs beat the Bullets in the Conference Semifinals, but lost against the Celtics in the Conference Finals. Head Coach Bill Fitch was given the NBA Coach of the Year award for his excellent coaching. In the next two seasons, the Cavs would post winning percentages exceeding 50%, which got them into the Playoffs in both seasons. Unfortunately, the team would be defeated in the First Round by the Bullets in 1977 and the Knicks in 1978.

Cleveland Cavaliers – the decline

After three consecutive Playoffs seasons, the Cleavland Cavaliers' luck would turn for the worst as the team would only make the Playoffs once in the nine seasons between 1978 and 1987. During this period, the team was unable to break the .500 winning percentage mark. In fact, in the 1981-82 season, the Cavs tied their franchise record for their worst season, with 15 wins and 67 losses. In the 1984-85 season, the Cavs hoped to turn their luck around after making it to the NBA Playoffs. They were knocked out of the Playoffs in the First Round by the Boston Celtics, who won 3-1. The team would struggle in their next two seasons, until the 1987-88 season, when they would make it back into the NBA Playoffs.

Cleveland Cavaliers – a rise to prominence

In the 1987-88 season, the Cavaliers were able to win 42 games, losing only 40, and ending with a regular season winning percentage of 51%. It was the team's first season above .500 since one decade earlier, during the 1977-78 season. In the 10 seasons following the 1988 Playoffs, the Cavs would make it to the Playoffs a total of eight times. Some of the players who helped the Cavs make this turn-around include Mark Price, Ron Harper, Brad Daugherty, and Larry Nance.

The Cavaliers were able to set the franchise record for their best season yet in the 1988-89 season. The team had a regular season record of 57-25, which is a near-70% winning percentage. The team was able to make it to the Playoffs, but they lost the First Round to the Chicago Bulls, who also defeated the Cavs in the First Round in the previous season. In the 1989-90 season, the Cavs had another winning record of 42-40, which got them into the 1990 Playoffs. Once again, however, the team would lose in the First Round against the Philadelphia 76ers. In the following season, the team missed the Playoffs with a record of 33 wins and 49 losses.

The 1991-92 season would mark the first of a five consecutive Playoff seasons. The team tied their franchise record with a regular season standing of 57 wins and 25 losses. Brad Daugherty and Mark Price both made the All-NBA 3rd Team and Larry Nance made the All-Defensive 2nd Team. For the first time in franchise history, the Cavs made it to the Conference Finals after defeating the New Jersey Nets and the Boston Celtics. Facing Michael Jordan and the Bulls, the Cavs were unable to pull-off the win in the Conference Finals. In the 1993 Playoffs, the Cavs were able to beat the New Jersey Nets in the First Round before getting crushed by Jordan and the Bulls in the Conference Semifinals, 0-4. Larry Nance made the All-Defensive 2nd Team and Price made the All-NBA 3rd Team.

The Cavaliers would make it to the Playoffs three more times, in 1994, 1995, and 1996, but the team would be unable to make it past the First Round. With a 42-40 regular season record in the 1996-97 season, the Cavs missed the Playoffs, ending their five-season long Playoffs streak. The team would be able to make it to the 1998 Playoffs, but, once again, the team would be knocked-out in the First Round. In the 1997-98 season, Derek Anderson and Cedric Henderson made the All-NBA Rookie 2nd Team, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Brevin Knight made the All-NBA Rookie 1st Team. The team would miss the Playoffs in the next five seasons, before LeBron James came to Cleveland in 2003.

Cleveland Cavaliers – King James' era

The Cleveland Cavaliers chose LeBron James as their first pick in the 2003 NBA Lottery. LeBron came straight out of high school and the public had many expectations for the young player, some even saying that he may be the next Michael Jordan. It took LeBron James and the Cavs a little time to adjust, but “King James” was already meeting people's expectations of him, winning the Rookie of the Year award and making the All-NBA Rookie 1st Team in 2004. In his sophomore year, LeBron led the Cavs to a 42-40 season record and James made it to the All-NBA 2nd Team.

In the 2005-06 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers won 50 games and only lost 32, which got them into the Playoffs for the first time since 1998. The team was able to beat the Washington Wizards 4-2 in the First Round before losing the Conference Semifinals to the Pistons 3-4. King James continued his impressive play, making it to the All-NBA 1st Team. One season later, the Cavs match their 50-32 season record and make it to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Cavs beat the Wizards 4-0 in the First Round, the New Jersey Nets 4-2 in the Conference Semifinals, and the Pistons 4-2 in the Conference Finals. The experienced San Antonio Spurs would prove to be too much for the Cavs, though, as they steam-rolled over the Cavs to win the Finals 4-0. LeBron was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team.

In the 2007-08 season, LeBron would continue to mature and develop into one of the league's best players. LeBron led the team to a 45-37 season to make it into the Playoffs for the third consecutive season. The team beat the Wizards in the First Round before losing to the Boston Celtics in the Conference Semifinals. James made it to the All-NBA 1st Team for the second time in his career. With the 2008-09 season already under way, LeBron James and the Cavaliers seem determined to win it all. The team has been playing some of its best basketball in franchise history. As of December 18, 2008, the Cavaliers have a record of 21 wins and four losses, which has earned them first place in the Central Division.