The Cavs will make the playoffs in the East with a (41-41) record
Kyrie Irving will play in 75 games, be an All Star and 3rd team All NBA
Anderson Varejao will play in 70 games and Andrew Bynum will play in 55 games
Tristan Thompson will shoot 66% from the free throw line right handed this year
Mike Brown will have the Cavaliers in the Top 20 in defense in his first year back
Kyrie Irving – He’s already one of the best point guards in the league offensively and this year he’s going to get to play some shooting guard thanks to the addition of Jarrett Jack. Where he needs to get better is on defense and in the leadership role and we’ve seen a little growth in both of those areas already this off season and in the preseason and I expect both of those areas to improve even more as the season progresses.
Overall Depth – Again I bring up the name of Jarrett Jack here along with the likes of Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennettt and Earl Clark. They’ve added better talent to this roster with a mixture of young players and the veteran Jack. This will allow Mike Brown to experiment with guys in different roles until he finds the rotation that he’s happy with. It should also keep Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving fresher and hopefully healthy for the entire season.
Youth and Athleticism – The average age of the Cavs opening night roster is 24 and some change and those young’uns can run, jump and get after it. They are the second youngest team in the NBA as we start the season. Philadelphia is the only team younger than the Cavs. Why is this important? If you’re trying to get LeBron James to consider coming back to C’Town during the summer of 2014(and the Cavaliers are) a young, up and coming roster that just made the playoffs would be very enticing to LBJ. So the youth and athleticism is there, now all the Cavs have to do is go make the playoffs.
It’s All About The Bigs – Coach John Lucas would love this rotation of “BIGS” – Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and if he can get healthy and stay healthy, Andrew Bynum. That’s one heck of a rotation of big fellas to use every night, or in Bynum’s case, maybe ever other night. If healthy it may be one of the best unit of “BIGS” in the NBA, but that is a big “IF” with Bynum, but he was worth the gamble because if he is healthy, he’ll be a force in the paint at both ends of the floor.
DEFENSE – I don’t want to say the only reason Mike Brown was brought back to the Cavs was because he’s known as a defensive specialist, but that’s probably 98% of why he’s getting a second chance with the Wine and Gold. He taught LeBron how to play defense and hopefully he can do the same with Kyrie Irving and the rest of the Cavs. Last year their defense wasn’t a priority and it was a joke under Byron Scott. That won’t be the case this year under Brown. If you don’t play defense or at least give effort on the defensive end you won’t play. Mike Brown will hold everyone accountable on the defensive end and his philosophy of “Protect The Paint”, ”Five-Men-On-A-String” and “Give Multiple Effort” has been, and will continually be preached to these players until they perfect it, which may take some time, but they will eventually get it or they won’t play or they won’t be on this team.
CAVS QUESTION MARKS:
Can Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum stay healthy?
How will Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters play together?
Who’s the starting small forward?
Who will emerge as that second go to guy to take some of the load off of Kyrie’s shoulders?
How will #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett handle that #1 pick pressure, can he get in shape, will he develop any low post moves, is he a SF or PF?
Will Dion Waiters only be effective when he has the ball in his hands or has he learned how to play off the ball and take better shots? Just because you’re open Dion doesn’t mean it’s a good shot!
We’ve been hearing nothing but great things about Tristan Thompson, but will all that translate to the floor and will he improve his offensive game now that he’s shooting right handed?
CENTRAL – Indiana Pacers
ATLANTIC – Brooklyn Nets
SOUTHEAST – Miami Heat
PACIFIC – L.A. Clippers
NORTHWEST – Oklahoma City Thunder
SOUTHWEST – Houston Rockets
EAST – Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Nets, Knicks, Wizards, Cavs and Hawks.
WEST – Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, Warriors, Rockets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Lakers.
East – Heat over Pacers
West – Thunder over Clippers
Heat over Thunder – (Too bad OKC traded James Harden or they’d be the champs)
Winner – LeBron James(# 5), Runner’s Up – Kevin Durant and Chris Paul
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Winner – Victor Oladipo, Runner’s Up – Ben McLemore and C.J. McCollum
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER:
Winner – Anthony Davis, Runner’s Up – Kawhi Leonard and Jeremy Lamb