Their head coach was George Karl in the 1983-84 season but failed to qualify again for the postseason with a 28-54 record.
In 1984-85 season, their record was enough for them to return to the playoffs but eventually lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round. The team is led by talented players like World Free, Roy Hinson and John Bagley. In 1986 season, Karl was fired after the 66th game of the season and hired Gene Littles as the interim coach. Littles led the team to finish the season but was one game short of the playoff berth.
After that season, there had been a major overhaul of the Cavs. In their 7 seasons, the Cavs had 9 head coaches such as Stan Albeck, Bill Musselman, Don Delaney, Bob Kloppenburg, Chuck Daly, Bill Musselman (again), Tom Nissalke, George Karl, and Gene Littles. Their only playoff appearance was the 1984-85 season under George Karl.
In 1986 season, the Cavs formed their core players of the team as they acquired Bad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance in the drafts and trades. With these players under Lenny Wilkens, they led the Cavs to eight postseason appearances fo the next nine years with three seasons with 50 win mark.
The Cavs played the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the 1989 playoffs in the first round. They have beaten the Bulls in the game four best-of-five series that leads to a fifth game. They lost in the 5th game with Jordan’s buzzer beater. The showcase of success of the Cavs was in the 1991-92 season as they finished it with 57 wins. They advanced in the playoffs reaching the Eastern Conference Finals but lost again versus the Chicago Bulls in 6 games.
In 1992-93 season, they had a nice 54-28 season but had an early exit in the semi-finals of the playoffs losing again to the Bulls. Starting in 1993 up until 2003, it was a decade of struggle for the Cavs. Some key players they had during those years was Shawn Kemp, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Andre Miller and Carlos Boozer.
Despite of their quality players along with Brevin Knight and Chris Mihm, they had their 3rd worst record in their franchise history with 17-65 record with the 2002-03 Cavaliers team. They also had Ricky Davis who provided scoring ability to the team but still was not able to carry the team.
Due to their low win season, they had a 22.5 percent chance to win the first overall selection in the NBA Draft. They landed their number one draft lottery and that lottery will later on change the franchise’ history and future.