NBA 2015-16 Team Previews: Cleveland Cavaliers – Long Live The King
By Anthony Nguyen
Our NBA 2015-16 Team Previews continues in the Central Division, next up The Cleveland Cavaliers:
Record: 53-29, 2nd in the Eastern Conference, 1st in Central Division, Lost in finals of playoffs
Rank: Offense: 107.7 (4) Defense: 104.1 (20) Differential/Net: plus +3.7 (7 Pace: 94.8 (25)
- Lebron James averaged 36.1 minutes per game last season.
- Kevin Love missed most of the post season due to a shoulder injury.
- Kyrie Irving still dealing with knee issues.
Off Season Moves
Key Areas Needing Addressing:
- Offensive versatility
- Utilizing Kevin Love effectively
- Resting Lebron James.
Draft: Sir’Dominic Pointer selected 53rd in first round, Cedi Osman selected 31st in second round
Player Additions/Players Re-Signed:
- LeBron James 1 year with option of 2nd year $23M
- Kevin Love – 5 years, $113M
- Tristan Thompson 5-years $82M
- Iman Shumpert – 4 years, $40M
- Mo Williams – 2 years, $2.4M
- Matthew Dellavedova 1 year, $1.2M
- Timofey Mozgov had $5M option picked up by team
- J.R. Smith 4-years $24.7M
- James Jones – 1 year, no terms disclosed 1 year, 1 1 year, $1.2M
- Richard Jefferson – 1 year at veteran’s minimum
- Kendrick Perkins
- Tyus Jones selected 23rd in first round and traded to Minnesota Timberwolves
- Rakeem Christmas
- Brendan Haywood
- Mike Miller opted in, but then left and signed with Denver
- Shawn Marion (retired)
Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov
J.R Smith, Iman Shumpert, Anderson Varejao
Kyrie Irving is mesmerizing. Perhaps the best ball handler in today’s league, Kyrie can get to just about anywhere on the court with an array of cross overs and hesitation dribbles that’ll leave you in awe. Irving is by no means a “rising” star and has been among the league’s top scoring guards for quite some time. Just ask the Spurs.
Kyrie’s efforts on defense have kept his name out of legitimate top point guard conversations through out his career. Irving has also had games resulting in zero assist, this can be due to the fact that Lebron is ultimately the facilitator in this offense but as a point guard having games with no assist is unacceptable. Until Irving can consistently bring effort defensively on a night to night basis and really fill the role of a point guard, Kyrie will forever be known as a one dimensional offensive juggernaut.
On The Bubble:
Leaving New York and coming to Cleveland is probably the best thing to ever happen for J.R Smith. The growth in maturity off and on the court has been exponential. Smith is arguably the streakiest player in the league, when he’s on his range comes from anywhere past half court. When he’s off J.R can actually shoot his team to death.
Kevin Love was without a doubt the best power forward in the game during his stint with the Timberwolves. A double double machine Love was a nightmare for opposing defenses with his ability to destroy a team from deep or around the rim.
Since joining the Cavaliers Love’s game has diminished into becoming purely a spot up shooter which is ridiculously absurd. The Cavs started figuring out how to fully utilize Love’s abilities towards the latter stretch of the season and became an unstoppable offensive machine.
Lebron will get his, Kyrie is nearly impossible to guard but when Love is heavily involved offensively this team is nearly impossible to keep up with.
Head coach David Blatt manages his players minutes well enough to prevent injuries meaning Lebron, Irving and Love may sit some games with post season success in their minds. If this roster can stay healthy all through out the playoffs you may be looking at your 2015-16 NBA Champions.
Injuries occur, Love isn’t happy with his role on the team so he demands a trade, another finals appearance melt down to the Golden State Warriors.
By far Lebron James is the best player on the planet. You may not like him but you can’t disregard the fact that the man makes everyone around him better. His vision with the ball is insane, when he lowers his head to bull doze to the rim, villages are destroyed. He’s been to the finals 6 times in his 12 year career. Let’s all stop wasting our time hating him because of the decisions he’s made in the past and how he’s so adamant on showing the public how great of a leader he is. Let’s appreciate and cherish what we have in front of us. It’s greatness, I never got to see Jordan play in his prime, I was young and didn’t comprehend much when Kobe was Kobe. I have Lebron and so do you.
June 7, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the 95-93 victory against the Golden State Warriors in game two of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Another finals appearance. 7 in 13 seasons, Wow.
Games versus the Houston Rockets
- January 15th at Toyota Center
- March 29th at Quicken Loans Arena
Fansided Affiliate Site: King James Gospel
Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.
Next: SCS Complete Round Table Sessions
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