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The Cleveland Cavaliers players reportedly lost faith in what they were doing earlier this season due to a lack of depth and roster construction.
According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com, the belief within the locker room started to disappear as the team struggled in the early part of the season and believed that they wouldn’t be able to make it through the season as they stood.
While they have since recovered and appear to have found their rhythm, it took further tweaks to the roster in order for the championship contenders to emerge.
General manager David Griffin moved for Kevin Love last summer to pair with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov were added earlier this month in order to add depth and fill gaps.
Nevertheless, while Cleveland appear to be back on track, it wasn’t as straight forward a month ago with a handful of players seemingly losing faith in the project.
“Under the condition of anonymity, members of the Cavaliers’ roster admitted that they had lost faith due to the lack of depth and structure of the roster. A handful of players said they came to the realization that the roster, as it was constructed prior to the trades, wasn’t equipped to go any further than the second round, if that,” Haynes reported.
“One player claimed the frustration of an “unbalanced roster probably contributed” to the team’s poor body language and effort level they were putting out. Another player vehemently said “it was never Coach [David] Blatt’s fault.”
It is understood that the Cavs are not yet done in the trade market and will continue to add depth, but it is clear that they are a better rounded team now as they look to improve on their 24-20 record so far this season.
While the Chicago Bulls replaced them as the championship favourites a fortnight ago, neither team has looked a lock for the NBA Finals particularly with the Atlanta Hawks emerging in the Eastern Conference while the Golden State Warriors look like legitimate contenders from the West.