On the surface, LeBron James’ first season back with the Cleveland Cavaliers looks a lot like his first season with the Miami Heat. But if we look a little closer, this season has not been nearly as good so far.
Both the 2010-11 Heat and this year’s Cavs started off slow and then picked up the pace. Through 23 games, the Cavs are 14-9, just one game behind the 2010-11 Heat who started 15-8. But if we look at point differential, a sign of how dominant a team has been, that Heat team actually played much better.
Through 23 games, the Cavs have outscored their opponents by 100 points. A team that does that would be expected to win 15 of 23 games, one more than the Cavs have so far. But at the same point in 2010, the Heat had outscored their opponents by 199 points. That translates to an expected record of 18-5 indicating a much more dominant performance early in the year and a team much better than their record.
There is still a lot of time left in the season. But that Heat team, which reached the NBA Finals, had already shown flashes of dominance not seen in this year’s Cavs team.
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