1) DEFENSE – Adding LeBron James and Kevin Love along with shooters Mike Miller and James Jones brings a ton of offense and outside shooting, but three out of those four aren’t known for their defensive prowess. LeBron is the only one of that group that consistently plays defense with grit and determination. Shawn Marion will help as a wing defender, but he’s not a spring chicken any more. The need for a rim protector is REAL. Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, and if he can play at all, Brendan Haywood, aren’t feared shot blockers. Add in that Kyrie Irving has yet to play defense in his three years in the league, and Dion Waiters is a liability as well, the Cavs have some serious issues on the defensive side of the ball. Those deficiencies need to be addressed either by adding an “Eraser at the Rim” or for the current players to show more determination and give more effort. Hopefully LeBron’s leadership and defensive make up will rub off on everyone on the team.
2) TEAM CHEMISTRY – Ego’s will have to be checked at the door the first day of training camp. Shot attempts are going to have to be divided up amongst a number of ball dominate players, and point totals are going to have to be sacrificed for the betterment of the team in order for this mixture of superstars, all-stars and up and coming stars to gel and turn this group into a true championship contending team. That’s not going to be easy when a number of these players are used to being the number one or two option on every team they’ve played for. How soon this happens, if it happens, could determine how far the Cavaliers can go in 2014-15.
3) HEAD COACH – David Blatt was an “Outside the Box Thinking” hire by first year G.M. David Griffin. Blatt has been a successful head coach for many years overseas, but never in the NBA. How will he transition to dealing with the ego’s that we mentioned earlier? With the rule changes that the NBA game brings? And how will he handle coaching against veteran NBA coaches night in and night out? Blatt as the head coach may be the biggest uncertainty facing this team as the season begins and moves forward. “Griff” has surrounded him with former NBA players as well as former NBA head coaches, so that should help, but David Blatt is still the man in charge and he needs to create his own identity, philosophy and style with his team. What is that? What will that be? Can the European game translate from a coaching standpoint to the NBA? We’re going to find out, and when we do, David Griffin will either have made his first mistake as a G.M., or he’ll continue to look like the basketball “Boy Wonder” genius he’s looked like this entire off-season.