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Digging into some numbers from Cleveland Cavaliers' early struggles

NBA.com Staff

The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the Eastern Conference title three seasons running and earned the 2016 championship during that span, too. After last night’s home loss to the Indiana Pacers that dropped the Cavs to 3-5, those days may seem far away to some Cleveland fans.

Of course, the thing to keep in mind in all of this early fretting is that no team has even hit 10 games played yet this season. In other words, it’s still very early in the NBA season. That said, we have some stats tidbits to consider about LeBron James, the Cavs and their slow start to 2017-18.

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* Last night’s defeat marked the Cavs’ third straight loss by 15 points or more. This is only the second time in LeBron’s career that his team has lost three straight games that he’s played in by 15-plus points (per Elias Sports):

Oct. 28, 2017 to today

March 21, 2004 to March 26, 2004 (LeBron’s rookie season)

* The Cavs are off to their worst start since 2013-14 (the season before LeBron returned to Cleveland), when they finished 33-49.

* Per Elias Sports, this is only the second time a LeBron James-led team has been under .500 after the first eight games of a season. The other time it happened was in 2003-04 (James’ rookie season). The Cavs started 2-6, finished the season 35-47 and missed the playoffs.

* Per Elias Sports, only seven teams have reached The NBA Finals after beginning a season 3-5 or worse through their first eight games. The last team to do so? The 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers, who lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls 4-1 in the series.

* Here’s a quick glace at the last time LeBron’s team has lost four or more consecutive games that he played in (via Elias Sports)

Losing Streak | Dates

4 games | Oct. 25, 2017 to today

4 games | Nov. 17, 2014 to Nov. 22, 2014

5 games | Feb. 27, 2011 to March 8, 2011

4 games | Jan. 22, 2007 to Feb. 1, 2007

In each of the three prior occurrences, LeBron’s teams ended up reaching The Finals — but they lost in each of those series.

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