Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/13/12
Since you know who took his talents to South Beach, the Cavaliers have gotten a free pass from the fans and the media in Northeast Ohio. It doesn't seem to matter how much they lose because fans have bought into the rebuilding project that's taken place.They've turned into a D-League team right before our eyes, as they have four players on the roster who have spent time in the minor league this season. They lost to the Indiana Pacers 104-98 in overtime on Wednesday. Once again, most fans realize it might be best for the long-range goals of the franchise.However, that line of thinking has to stop after this year. Starting next season, it's time for this team to start winning. They should consider themselves a playoff contender in 2012-13. At the beginning of next season, the front office and head coach should sit in front of the cameras and tell the world their goal is to make the playoffs.In actuality, when healthy, this team isn't that far from being decent. A consistent, dependable wing scorer is needed. They hope to get that in the 2012 draft. Another big man must be added to the mix. They could be more than 20 million under the salary cap this summer. Even though they've said they will build the team through the draft, teams can do a lot with that kind of cap space.Of course, one must assume that half of their players don't get injured again next season. Guard Kyrie Irving and center Anderson Varejao -- arguably two of their best players -- missed large chunks of the season with injuries. Also, guard Daniel Gibson was lost for the season with a torn tendon in his foot.NOTES, QUOTES--F David West of the Pacers and the Cavs' mascot, Moondog, engaged in some horseplay before Wednesday's game. West inadvertently hit Moondog in the face. Moondog was taken to a hospital for treatment of one of his eyes.--C Semih Erden sprained his right ankle in the second quarter of the Cavs' 104-98 overtime loss to Indiana on Wednesday and didn't return. He was the only 7-footer on the roster. That means F-C Samardo Samuels is the only big man remaining on the bench. Erden was walking on crutches after the game. The Cavs had 10 games remaining and he might be able to play again this year.QUOTE TO NOTE: "Obviously, we don't want to lose games to anybody, especially at home. I issued a challenge to them about playing hard about five games ago. They came out and battled tooth and nail to the end." -- Cavs coach Byron Scott on his team playing hard.ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES: --G Donald Sloan and G Manny Harris have indicated they would play on the Cavs' summer-league team. The Cavs are hoping G Kyrie Irving and F-C Tristan Thompson will play for their summer-league team in Las Vegas this summer. Summer-league action was scrapped last year because of the lockout.--C Anderson Varejao may not play for Brazil in the Olympics. Varejao has been sidelined since Feb. 10 with a fractured right wrist. He's hoping to get back on the court before the end of the season.In 2008, the Cavs refused to allow C Zydrunas Ilgauskas to play for the Lithuanian Olympic team.--F Luke Harangody has not been recalled from the D-League Canton Charge even though the Cavs have been short-handed for the last week. "The main thing was perimeter guys," coach Byron Scott said. "Our perimeter guys were going down like flies. It wasn't that big a deal as far as bringing Luke in. I thought Luke was having a good time down there and winning (and playing in the playoffs)." MEDICAL WATCH:--C Anderson Varejao (broken right wrist) was injured in the Milwaukee game on Feb. 10. The Cavs hope he can return next week.--G Daniel Gibson (foot surgery) had surgery on April 2 to repair the torn tendon in left foot. He's done for the season. He was injured against New Jersey on March 19. The Cavs expect him to be ready for training camp.--G Kyrie Irving (sprained right shoulder) will be sidelined until up to April 13. He was re-injured on April 3.--C Semih Erden (sprained right ankle) was injured on April 11. There's no prognosis on when he'll return.ROTATION:Starters:--Point guard Donald Sloan--Shooting guard Manny Harris--Small forward Alonzo Gee--Power forward Antawn Jamison--Center Tristan ThompsonBench:--Guard Lester Hudson--Forward Omri Casspi--Forward Luke Walton--Center Samardo Samuels
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