The Cleveland Cavaliers once again finished another season at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Over in Cleveland, fans are still feeling the effects of the ‘Decision’. The Post-LeBron era has not been what the fans might have wanted but I do believe that they a lot to look forward to with the upcoming season. (Plus, there is the chance their prodigal son from Akron might return in Free Agency next off-season.) With the young pieces they have in place and the few moves they have made, there is a chance for the Cavs to make a return to the post season if they are able to overcome their most difficult hurdle, the injury bug. The talent is there with the 2013 1st overall pick, Anthony Bennett and second-year guard Dion Waiters, to go along with Irving to make a pretty good team for the foreseeable future.
Key Additions: PG Jarrett Jack (Free Agent); PF Earl Clark (Free Agent); Anthony Bennett (NBA Draft, 1st Overall)
Key Losses: SF Omri Casspi (Free Agent); PF Marreese Speights (Free Agent)
Impact Player: Low and behold, this should come as no surprise to anyone. Kyrie Irving is on the cusp of being in the next crop of NBA superstars. With endorsement deals coming in by the bunches and the game to back up those deals, Irving has to take that next step to raise the team to new heights. The only thing that he has against him is his injury history, as he is yet to play a full 82-game NBA season.
Area of Focus: Defense. They are not a very good defensive team and it is probably one of the reasons the Cavaliers brought back Mike Brown as their head coach. According to HoopsStats, the Cavaliers ranked 25th in team defense last year. I believe one way to get the younger players to buy in is bringing in a coach who knows defense and will get them to play harder on that end of the floor night-in and night-out.
Intriguing Question: How will Andrew Bynum affect the Cavaliers?
This question is loaded from all sides. The major question is not how will he affect the team but more so will he be healthy enough to do so? Andrew Bynum spent all of the 2012-2013 season nursing two degenerative knees, forcing him to miss all 82 games. The Cavs are hoping that they can get a fraction of what Bynum offered the Los Angeles Lakers in the last two years he wore the purple and gold. If healthy, he can provide a low post presence that could potentially elevate the Cavs out of NBA mediocrity.
Season Prediction: 41-40
The tide is changing in Cleveland and the owner is vowing to make sure the team is competitive this year and for years to come. They have tons of cap space and could be huge players in free agency next off-season. And oh yeah, there is this guy named LeBron James, who just might decide to come back and play for Cleveland again. One can only hope.