a year makes
Here's the Diff between the Cavs at the All-Star break this year and the Cavs at the All-Star break last year: +½.
Add up all the changes from last season -- a new owner (Dan Gilbert), a new coach (Mike Brown), new name for the Cavs' home arena (Quicken Loans Arena), new P.A. announcer (Ronnie Duncan), new colors for the seats (wine), new free agents (Larry Hughes, Damon Jones, Donyell Marshall), and new stat on the scoreboard (The Diff) -- and the calculator reveals a half-game improvement at the break. Exactly 365 days ago, the Cavs lost their last game before the All-Star break to drop to 30-21. This year, the Cavs beat Boston in double overtime in their last game before the All-Star break to improve to 31-21.
And the Diff is about to be erased, because in their first game after the All-Star break last year, the Cavs won to give themselves a 31-21 record. Then they promptly went on a six-game losing streak. They found themselves at 35-32 before anyone could ask, "Why, God, why???"
Everything feels different this year, with the new owner and the new coach and the new arena name and the new PA announcer and the new free agents and the new statistic. But here's a Diff between last year and this year that's scarier than the last 15 minutes of The Ring: 1. That's the number of players in the starting lineup of Wednesday's victory over the Celtics that were NOT in the starting lineup of the final game before the All-Star break last year.
Wednesday night the Cavs sent Lebron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic, and Eric Snow onto the court to start against the Celtics. Last year against the T-Wolves in the last game before the break, the Cavs started Lebron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic, and Jeff McInnis.
Oh, and Ira Newble missed both games because of injury. Nothing Diff there.
One. All these changes and halfway through the season there's only one different player in the starting lineup. Which might explain why there's no Diff in the Cavs record. That, and the fact that God's still around.