Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #3: Cleveland Cavaliers

Aloha everyone... let's get it going with the Dan Gilbert-led Cavs...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Kyrie Irving, Ramon Sessions
  • SG - Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson, Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga
  • SF - Omri Casspi, Alonzo Gee
  • PF - Antawn Jamison, Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels, Luke Harangody
  • C - Anderson Varejao, Semih Erden

General Thoughts

Cleveland is probably the only franchise in the league that generates more interest from its owners comments than on the court (I can hear you saying Charlotte but MJ never says anything). Let's look on the bright side first with this club. Kyrie Irving is the league's #1 pick, he's looked electric in limited preseason action, AND they got to part with Baron Davis via amnesty to clear the way for him. Sounds fantastic, right? It's not 100% clear who will get the starting nod at the point with veteran Ramon Sessions installed there and being paid decently, but I'm going to assume Irving gets the reins. Elsewhere, the wing spots are a bit of a mess. Parker and Casspi are both serviceable NBA swingmen, but neither is a dynamic player by any stretch, and that's a concern when you're matched up against teams with (at least) one big-time wing. Jamison is a vet who will give you 18 points and 8 boards a night even at this advanced age, and he'll be relieved by rookie Tristan Thompson who has some pretty large upside. It was a bit curious that they went with Thompson so early, but he's young, long, and athletic. Varejao is the piece that everyone seems to forget because he was banged up last year, but he's an energy guy, a plus-defender and a big-time rebounder to the point where if he's healthy and plugged in, he can make a difference up front despite his lack of offense. Is this roster as bad as Charlotte and Toronto? Maybe early in the year it will be, but with Irving and Thompson infusing life, I think they're on the uptick more than the teams previously profiled.


Irving. I know he is the obvious pick, but it can't be overstated how big it would be for the post-Lebron Cavs to actually hit big on their one chance at a #1 pick. I don't think Irving has the pure physical tools (and upside) of a Rose or Wall, but if he's a perennial all-star type, top-10 PG, they've done their job. There's a lot riding on that young man in Cleveland.

Predicted Finish

13th in the East

No comments: