Season preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Season preview: Cleveland Cavaliers


Season preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

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STAYING: Kay Felder, Channing Frye, LeBron James, Richard Jefferson, Kyle Korver, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Walter Tavares and Tristan Thompson.

ADDED: Jose Manuel Calderon (Atlanta), Jae Crowder (Boston), Jeff Green (Orlando), John Holland (Canton Charge), Cedi Osman (Anadolu Efes), Derrick Rose (New York), Isaiah Thomas (Boston) and Ante Zizic (Darussafaka).

GONE: Kyrie Irving (Boston), Dahntay Jones, James Jones (retired), Deron Williams and Derrick Williams.

STRENGTHS: LeBron James … Whenever you have the best player in the game on your side, you’re going to have a chance … Still no signs of slowing down at age 32 … He comes off yet another MVP-caliber year in which he averaged career highs in rebounds and assists … A ton of star power … New LeBron sidekick Isaiah Thomas finished No. 5 in the MVP vote last season … He’s a dominant scorer at the point guard position … All-Star Kevin Love will take pressure off those two with great outside shooting … They actually have a plethora of shooters around the team’s stars … Three-point shooting should once again be phenomenal … Cavs upgraded depth with the addition of glue guy Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose … They now have a couple of quality players at each position … Scoring should come easy for them.

WEAKNESSES: Thomas will start the year injured … Will 2017-18 Isaiah be as good as the 2016-17 version? … It’s a pretty veteran bunch with a lot of mileage, so they may struggle to stay healthy throughout the season … Last year, they looked a bit bored by regular season games … That was most obvious on the defensive end … They had the worst Defensive Rating of any Eastern Conference squad to make the playoffs … They don’t have an awful lot of size … Rumors about a potential LeBron departure may be a distraction during the season … Kyrie Irving was as clutch as they come for them in the playoffs … They could miss that.

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



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