FREE $25 when you Join Now – Use your Free $25 to get a BEST BET at NO cost!

Stories

Stories

Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

1 Members
  • Type:
    Joinless
  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
  • Last Update:
    11/24/2021 7:15 PM

2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
92.3
13
Offense
104.3
19
Defense
109.4
27
Rebound
50.4
14

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
47.3
27
eFG%
52.3
29
TO%
13.0
4
TO%
14.4
7
Reb%
28.1
10
Reb%
27.4
25
FT%
20.0
19
FT%
22.5
25

Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
4-12
103.1
110.8
December
3-13
100.3
109.9
January
6-8
107.7
112.5
February
7-5
117.1
112.7
March
2-12
101.5
112.7
April
2-8
103.3
109.9


The Cavaliers didn’t have a lot of expectations for the past season, but still they played below the level that most people expected them to play.

Their roster was quite young, with few to little quality on depth with just one player with potential to be a league superstar, so this kind of roster would always struggle to be competitive on the NBA.

Suddenly, the Cavaliers lost 23 of their first 28 games and they were out of playoff contender already in December! Then, in the second half of the season, the team entered in an extreme tank mode, something they had also done in the previous season in order to get the best draft pick possible:

Cleveland’s record since March 1:
2011-12: 8-25
2012-13: 4-20

Besides Kyrie Irving, the team’s backcourt was limited to be competitive. The organization expected Dion Waiters to make an immediate impact on the NBA, but that didn’t happen, as he had a slow start of his career, including shooting 36.9% and 34.2% FG in 23 games in November and December.
In the frontcourt, as long as Anderson Varejao was healthy, the Cavaliers were an offensive rebound machine, but they offered very little in terms of shot creation. When Varejao went down in December 18, the Cavaliers were forced to “promote” rookie Tyler Zeller into the starting lineup to play alongside Tristan Thompson, something that shows the lack of quality and depth of this unit last season.

Due to the late tank mode, they “managed” to be the fourth worst team in the regular season and then, they were lucky to get the #1 overall pick in the draft. 


Offseason Report:

The first news regarding the team on the off season was the dismissal of Byron Scott as head coach, with him being replaced by Mike Brown, who is returning to Cleveland after leaving the team three seasons ago.

With another #1 draft pick on their hands, Dan Gilbert surprised everybody like they had done last season when he picked Thompson over Valanciunas and this time, he selected Anthony Bennett when very little people expected that to happen.

To improve the backcourt, one of their weakest links in the previous season, Gilbert managed to sign Jarrett Jack, who was coming from an excellent season in Golden State and he will be an important factor for the team as their 6th man.

Earl Clark was also a good pick up due to his versatility, but the biggest surprise was the signing of Andrew Bynum. Several teams in the league were interesting in signing Bynum, but he picked Cleveland’s deal, a 2-year contract with 12.5 M per year (non-guaranteed).


Season Preview:

Inevitably, the Cavaliers’ season will depend from how much quality Andrew Bynum will be able to give the team. If Bynum is able to keep himself healthy and productive, then Cleveland will finally have a frontcourt player who is capable of creating his own shot and that will immediately give a whole new dimension to the team’s offense. However, his physical condition is a huge question mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bynum isn’t a factor this season.

With or without Bynum, Kyrie Irving will always be the team’s best player and we can already consider him one of the league’s best player even though he is just 21 years old. He also has a poor reputation regarding injuries since college (15+23 games missed over the last two seasons), so I doubt that Irving will keep himself healthy for the whole season.

Besides that, we are talking about a rare offensive talent that has already shown that he can solve games down the stretch. He scored 22.5 points per game, while shooting 45.2% FG, 39.1% 3pts and 85.5% FT. These are elite numbers for a Point Guard! The fact that he played with teammates with little quality forced Irving to carry the team on his back and the consequence of that were too many turnovers. He was the 6th player in the league with more turnovers per game with 3.2 TO/game!

Dion Waiters needed three months to adapt to the NBA by shooting 36.9%, 34.2% and 41.9% FG in these months where Cleveland was losing games after games. The good news is that he improved during the second half of the season with 45.8% FG, while scoring 16.1 points per game. However, the fact is that Waiters improved when the Cavaliers were already a definitive losing team and so, he was playing with no pressure on his shoulders. But if Waiters is able to keep developing, then Irving and Waiters will form a good offensive duo, even though they will be quite weak on defense. 

Unlike the last few seasons, the Cavaliers will have in Jarrett Jack a player that will be able to lead the second unit by coming off the bench. He is coming from an excellent season in Golden State (where he started just 4 games), while showing a lethal mid range shooting game with 48.6% FG from 10-15 feet and 48.0% FG from 16-23 feet! If Irving keeps struggling in being healthy, then the Cavaliers will have a serviceable backup capable of replacing him if necessary.

Since Lebron James left the team, the Cavaliers are yet to find a quality Small Forward to replace him. Having in account the defensive problems from Irving, Waiters and Jack, it’s essential that the team’s SF is defensive minded and this is why the team signed Earl Clark for two seasons. He has been playing at the PF position during his career, but the Cavaliers will use him as a defender with length, who can guard some opposing Small Forwards.

If Anderson Varejao keeps himself healthy, then the Cavaliers’ frontcourt might be able to handle Bynum’s absence for a few games. In the 25 games that he played last season, Varejao was a monster on rebounding with 14.4 rebounds per game and the incredible mark of 5.5 offensive boards per game. He is a good finisher in pick and roll plays, but he didn’t play a lot over the last three seasons with 25, 25 and 31 games played, while missing a combined of 149 games! Tristan Thompson looks like a poor version of Varejao: a hustle player capable of grabbing offensive boards, but limited to that role on offense. However, we are looking at a 22 years old player, while Tyler Zeller struggled to hang around with the most physical centers in the league. The good news is that Zeller isn’t as limited offensively as both Varejao and Thompson.

In such a one-dimensional frontcourt (excluding Bynum), Anthony Bennett will be the team’s wild card on offense. He is undersized for the PF position, but that hasn’t stopped some undersized players to have success in the league, with Kenneth Faried being one of these examples. With just 6 feet and 7 inches tall, Bennett will compensate that with an already advanced offensive game, while he also showed focus and intensity on college that will help in quickly adapting into the NBA. Being a #1 pick in the draft is immediately a focus for attention and every step he makes on court will be closely judged. 

For us to see Cleveland on the playoffs, a lot of things will need to work well for the team, especially healthy wise, as their best three players in the roster (Irving, Bynum and Varejao) are injury prone. In my opinion, the team has still a lot of flaws in several areas such as backcourt defense, lack of quality at the SF position and a bunch of young players on the frontcourt. So, if Cleveland still manages to be competitive, then this will be due to the star power that Irving and Bynum will give the team.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

Email Share Sent

Your share has been sent.

x

Quick View

Loading...

Future Game

League:

Teams:

Date:

Time:

Pick:

Bet Type:

Odds:

Picked:

Contests: ,

Full Pick Details

x

Multi Quick View

Loading...

Pick Name
Odds: Odds
Picked: Stamp

x

Quick View

Rank:

Member:

Team:

Wins:

Losses:

Ties:

x

Pregame.com Join Contest

x