By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 24-58
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 5th in the Central Division
Projected Starting Lineup
The strength of the 2013 Cleveland Cavaliers will be its ability to score. The Cavs were only 19th in scoring last year (96 ppg), but more experience and some key additions should increase the Cavs scoring. Kyrie Irving is regarded as one of the elite point guards in the NBA, and his supporting cast continues to get better. The Cavs went out and signed Andrew Bynum, who will instantly make them better if he stays healthy. They were also able to land forward Earl Clark and guard Jarrett Jack. Top overall pick Anthony Bennett is hoping to be the missing piece for a Cavs team that has struggled since the departure of LeBron James. The Cavs look to have a dynamic roster, and the sky is the limit with Irving at the point. The NBA is a superstar driven league, and Irving is the superstar that will get the Cavs back to the playoffs
The Cavs allowed over 100 ppg last season, and that will need to change in order to make a run at the playoffs. Mike Brown is back as head coach, and he will surely be focused on the defensive end of the court. A healthy Andrew Bynum would be great news, and he would provide an anchor to a defensive that struggles to rebound and defend the basket. The Cavs look like a playoff team on paper, but it will be one-and-done for the Cavs if they don’t pick up the “D”.
The Cavs will be battling the Pistons and Bucks for third place in the Central Division. Ultimately, I think the Cavs win out because they have the best player out of the three in Kyrie Irving. The only issue that might haunt the Cavs is health. Andrew Bynum must play 60 to 70 games, and do so at a high level. Super role player Anderson Varejao needs to be healthy as well because like Bynum, he will help tremendously on the defensive end. On paper, the Cavs look to have what it takes to be the 7th or 8th best team in the East. It’s now time for them to prove it on the floor.