June 19, 2016, the NBA God's shed light on the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise. In the summer of 2018, the Cavs luck would run out as LeBron James took his talents and left the franchise again. It took the team a few years to recover from the mess James left the team in, but the NBA God’s returned to the Cavs side in the 2021 offseason.
Thanks to a few smart moves by President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman, the Cavs are once again legitimate Eastern Conference contenders for the first time in nearly a half decade. As of Jan. 31st, the team sits only two games back of first place in the conference, and the NBA God’s provided the team with an opportunity in February to take advantage of a soft schedule. Throughout the 28 day month, the team only plays three teams with a winning percentage at or above the .500 mark (Hornets, Sixers and Timberwolves).
The February docket includes trips to Houston, Indiana and Detroit, all teams who are already looking ahead to the Draft Lottery, and teams who will be looking to unload talent at the trade deadline. Yes, the Cavs lost to the Pistons on Jan. 30th, but losses to bad teams happen to even the best teams in the league in every sport. The great teams make sure the losses to the lesser teams don’t become frequent occurrences.
Along with Houston, Indiana and Detroit, trips to Charlotte and Philadelphia are in store. As of this writing, the Hornets, led by second year sensation LaMelo Ball, are only 4.5 games out of the top spot in the East. The Wine and Golders split their first two games with Charlotte this season, with Charlotte winning the first battle in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse 123-112 (that was the second game of the campaign), and the Cavs getting their revenge back in Charlotte on Nov. 1st by a final score of 113-110.
As for Philly, the Feb. 12th meeting will be the first meeting between the two squads this season. Entering the month, the Sixers sit just a half game up on the Cavs in the conference.
The sneakiest game during the month is the game at State Farm Arena right before the All-Star break on Feb. 15th against the Hawks. J.B. Bickerstaff’s Cavs got their first victory of the season by defeating Trae Young and company on Oct. 30th. Atlanta returned to the Fieldhouse on New Year’s Eve and won that ballgame by three to even the season series at 1-1. While the Hawks have been under .500 for most of the season, they have won seven in a row at the time of this writing, and Young is playing at the same level he did during last year’s playoffs when he guided the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals as the No. 5
The Cavs home schedule during the second month of 2022 includes games against Indiana, San Antonio, Washington and Minnesota, all teams who are either looking towards the lottery, or are right on the bubble of playoff status. All four are winnable games for the Cavs, and games they must win to prove they are legitimate championship contenders.
With the trade deadline coming up on Feb. 10th, the Cavs could look a little different down the stretch of the 2021-2022 season and so could the opponents they face. However, entering February, the Cavs future opponents have a combined record of 211-288.
That’s a schedule the Cavs can thank the NBA God’s for, and that’s a schedule they have to take advantage of entering the month of March. Out of the 10 games scheduled for the month, seven have to be wins. Anything other than that is unacceptable.
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