Cleveland's inexperience—nine of its 12 players are 25 or younger—has hurt against its fellow expansion teams (the Cavs are 2-6 against Portland and Buffalo), but it is now too late for Fitch to make changes. "We put a few guys out on waivers, and the only one who was picked up was the skull," he says. "As far as trades are concerned, my phone doesn't even ring when I'm in the bathtub."
Of the players on hand, the most promising is John Johnson, the 6'7" rookie from Iowa who plays both guard and forward. "It's tougher this way than if I was on a winner," he says. "I've got to learn the league as a rookie, and I also have to live with losing. I've never lost more than three games in a row before in my life, and it's hard to take. You have to have a chuckle now and then or else you'd go nuts. But it's not funny."
"It's embarrassing," says starting Guard Bob Lewis, who came from San Francisco in the draft and has had a rugged time over the last 56 games, considering that the Warriors lost 21 of their final 27 a year ago. "This continual losing, it's terrible. You can't talk to your friends. They're always trying to tell you what's wrong."
Since that first win over Portland, the Cavaliers have been losing by an average of only 12 points a game. Perhaps that is what has allowed Bill Fitch to retain some shreds of optimism. "Hope springs eternal," he volunteers. "Maybe we're the only team in the league that has had its flu shots."