The Cavs aren’t exactly in crisis mode after Monday’s loss to the Spurs dropped them to second place in the Eastern Conference. But should the Cleveland faithful be worried?

Probably not.

But maybe just a little.

As long as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love enter the postseason relatively healthy, then I don’t think the Cavs have all that much to worry about. Would you really sound the alarm if you featured the best all-around player in the game with a supporting cast of top-tier All-Stars? Cleveland is still the class of the Eastern Conference. Nobody else has their firepower, depth, or overall talent—Cleveland is still head and shoulders better than any other team in the East by a mile. So barring a major injury, convention says the Cavs should find their way back to a third straight NBA Finals without too much drama.

But there are reasons to be concerned, namely how piss poor their defense has been as the team has sputtered to an 8-10 record following the All-Star break. Monday’s debacle in San Antonio, a national TV smackdown, saw the Cavs finally relinquish first in the Eastern Conference to the Celtics. That’s something NBA observers have anxiously monitored for months now, devilishly dreaming about the prospects and whether that would cause Cavs fans to lose their collective shit.

We’re in the middle of the dog days of the NBA schedule. But veteran squads, like the Cavs, usually are just concerned with making it to the postseason. Seeding isn’t the end all, be all that the media or fans often make it out to be. 

Well, the sky isn’t falling, but Cleveland currently being 22nd in the league in defensive efficiency is problematic, putting them alarmingly close to lottery-bound squads like the Knicks, Nets, and Lakers rather than the two squads we basically all expect to battle it out for the right to meet them in the NBA Finals: the Warriors and Spurs. Last year, the Cavs finished 9th in defensive efficiency, one spot behind the greatest regular season team in NBA history, Golden State. And other than LeBron, Cleveland really doesn’t have any great defenders that play truly meaningful minutes.

Acquiring Andrew Bogut was supposed to help them out, but seconds into his first game with the club on March 6, the Australian was lost for the season with a broken leg. Injuries have been a problem for the Cavs all season long (Love, J.R. Smith, and Kyle Korver have missed significant time), and some years good teams just run into bad luck.

The question is can the Cavs flip the switch when the playoffs finally start? Just about every team right now is slogging their way to the end of the season. We’re in the middle of the dog days of the NBA schedule. But veteran squads, like the Cavs, usually are just concerned with making it to the postseason. Seeding isn’t the end all, be all that the media or fans often make it out to be. How did home-court advantage in the NBA Finals work out for the Warriors last season?

LeBron James Cavs Spurs Back 2017
Image via USA Today Sports/Soobum Im

If anyone in the game can flip a switch, you would think it’s the man who has his sights set on making a ridiculous seventh straight NBA Finals appearance. But if King James, who continues to carry a heavy workload, is indeed waiting for the right moment to take it up a notch, Cavs fans better hope LeBron and his brethren have enough left in the tank, because the Cavs currently are either at best disinterested or at worst tired.

Basically, the postseason can’t come soon enough for Cleveland. And in the grand scheme of things, you’re going to have a tough time arguing there’s any major reason to panic. But maybe, just maybe, there are reasons to low-key be more than slightly concerned two and a half weeks before the real NBA season begins.