Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers


Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

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STAYING: Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, James Jones, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith and Anderson Varejao.

ADDED: Dionte Christmas (Paris-Levallois), Quinn Cook (Duke), Jack Cooley (Utah), Jared Cunningham (Idaho Stampede), Austin Daye (Atlanta), Richard Jefferson (Dallas), Sasha Kaun (CSKA Moscow),  Nick Minnerath (Cholet), DJ Stephens (Zenit Saint Petersburg) and Maurice Williams (Charlotte).

GONE: Brendan Haywood (Free Agent), Shawn Marion (Retired), Mike Miller (Denver), Tristan Thompson (Free Agent) and Kendrick Perkins (New Orleans).

STRENGTHS: The most dominant player in the game in the last decade is a Cavalier … LeBron James is able to take over games like no other guy in the NBA … Just too much skill, strength, athleticism and confidence … Cleveland also has elite players at the point guard and power forward spots … Kyrie Irving may have the best handles in the league and his shot-making ability is amazing … Kevin Love, who would be a go-to guy for most NBA clubs, is a third option here … The Big Three has been together for a year now, so you would expect improved chemistry … High-quality role players … Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov can really make an impact on the defensive end … JR Smith and Maurice Williams are true offensive threats when hot … It’s not hard to picture Cleveland being the runaway No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, thus getting the chance to rest its stars late in the season.

WEAKNESSES: Too many injury-prone players … Irving, Love, Shumpert and Anderson Varejao have a history of missing quite a few games every season … With Tristan Thompson away from the team, there’s not a lot of depth in the paint … If Thompson re-signs eventually, will he be ready to contribute consistently right away? … Rebounding could be a problem … Does David Blatt have enough authority over this team?

PREDICTION: 1st in the Central Division / 1st in the Eastern Conference.


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