Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 1/23/12
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Cavaliers have dropped three straight, one of which was their worst home loss in franchise history. That came Friday vs. Chicago, which was without injured point guard and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose. The Cavs werent much better in Atlanta the next night, getting walloped by a Hawks team that was without injured All-Star center Al Horford and veteran guard Kirk Hinrich. So its only natural for fans to feel a little nervous. Its only natural for them to think about last season -- when the Cavs tied a pro sports record with 26 straight defeats. And it only makes sense for fans to start bracing themselves over what might happen Tuesday when the Cavs travel to Miami to face LeBron James and the powerful Heat. But fear not, said forward Antawn Jamison. This year isnt last year. The last three games is not who we are as a team, Jamison said from the teams practice facility Monday. We realize that. Jamison cited the first few weeks of the season, when the Cavs got off to a surprising 6-7 start despite a grueling seven-game trip that took them to the West Coast. In practically every one of those games, win or lose, the Cavs did something a lot of people werent expecting. They competed. Not so in the Chicago and Atlanta losses, when the Cavs failed to defend, track down loose balls or keep the offense flowing. Other than that, they were great. But if there is one thing Jamison stressed, its that folks shouldnt freak out too much over the recent string of frustration. That (explitive) isnt going to happen again, he said. This is a different team, a better team. What happened last year is last year. Earlier this year, that wouldve been easy to believe. On top of adding lottery picks Kyrie Irving (No. 1 overall) and Tristan Thompson (No. 4), Jamison and veteran big man Anderson Varejao returned from injuries that ended their seasons in 2010-11. Also, the Cavs had been receiving improved play from the likes of small forward Alonzo Gee and backup guard Ramon Sessions. But with the exception of the rookies, everyone seemed to take a step back in the past week. Why? No one knows. And if you ask Jamison, no one cares. Well, they care -- they just arent about to get too hung up on it. The thing is, were 6-9 and tied for seventh (with Boston) in the Eastern Conference, he said. So the most important thing is to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. Not only stop the bleeding, but when we go out there and were not competing, the other team is going to rub it in our faces. In other words, when it comes to getting this thing fixed, the Cavs cant rely on anyone but themselves. Cavs coach Byron Scott concurred. We have two bad games and everybody wants to panic and make all these changes," he said. Like I told our guys today, we've had two bad games, and if the playoffs started today, we'd be in the seventh spot or the eighth spot. So its not all that bad. Scott added, "We've just got to make sure that we go back to the basics and do the things we did the first 13 games, which was compete on the defensive end, play hard. Our effort was unbelievable. We had second and third efforts. The last couple games we haven't been getting that. It's just getting back to the little things we were doing the first 13 games. And what better place to start than Miami -- against a team everyone has pegged for the title? You dont want to get yourselves in a situation where you dig yourself a hole, and then for the last month or so, youre trying to get out of that hole, Jamison said. For us to have played like we played in the last three games, that should be enough motivation to come out against a quality team that people are picking to win it. Cavs Notes Jamison agreed that the Heat should in fact be considered favorites. They still have the Big Three (in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh), and more determination to prove they are capable of winning a championship after losing in the Finals last season, Jamison said. A big part of the problem for the Cavs lately: Taking care of the ball. But they arent alone in that department. On Sunday, the Heat committed 22 turnovers in an upset loss to Milwaukee at home. The Heat are averaging a little more than 18 turnovers in losses and around 15 in wins. Thompson is questionable for Tuesdays game, Scott said. The 6-foot-9 rookie forward sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter against Atlanta. The Cavs recalled swingman Christian Eyenga from their D-League team in Canton on Monday. Eyenga was sent down Jan. 4 and averaged 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in nine games with the Charge. The Heat did not practice Monday, taking off just their second day since the season started. Wade is likely out for Tuesdays game. He hasnt played since spraining his ankle Jan. 13 in a loss at Denver. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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