Tristan Thompson has improved from his career FT percentage of 58.6% to 78.4% since switching shooting hands. Clearly a very small sample size but if Tristan is improving his shooting stroke, he could once again improve by leaps and bounds this year. http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2013/09/02/cleveland-cavaliers-tristan-tho...
Andrew Bynum has been working out daily and is very adamant about proving his doubters wrong.
Dion Waiters is coming off a 14.7ppg rookie campaign and just recently stated he will eventually be the best shooting guard in the NBA. For those of you who watched Dion, his shot selection improved dramatically in the 2nd half of the season. He shows no fear at getting to the hole and although sometimes not finishing, seems to get there at will. http://fansided.com/2013/08/31/cleveland-cavaliers-dion-waiters-says-hel...
Cavs Rookie Carrick Felix looks to bring a lot of help to the miserable defense Cleveland showed last year. http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2013/08/shouldnt_cleveland_caval...
And of course, Kyrie, Varejao (14.1 and 14.4 before his season ending injury) Anthony Bennett, Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark, Zeller and a few other small pieces.
So the question is, baring unforeseen injuries, how good can the Cavaliers be?
If everyone is 100% healthy, I think they are a playoff team. How well the pieces they have mesh together is another question, but I think they should definitely be in the running for a lower playoff seed, and if the pieces fit, they have a lot of good talent, and could push teams like the Knicks and Chicago(If Rose isnt 100%). But I think more then likely they will end up being a 7 or 8 seed in the east next season.
If Bynum plays to where he's capable of playing he is the biggest and most skilled center in the league..so that right there puts them in the playoffs. Add Kyrie Irving and that could seriously be a top 3 team in the east. Lets see if Bynum can stay healthy physically as well as mentally.
If they are completely healthy and playing to their potential, I don't see why they can't be a top-6 seed in the East.
... who honestly thinks they still don't make the playoffs? Here's my reasoning:
I believe Bynum is permanently hurt. And by that I mean injury prone. His knees are shot. They'll be lucky if he plays 50 games.
Now, without Bynum, they are below the Raptors, Pistons, and Wizards. That is what I predict.
I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT TO BE PROVEN WRONG. I DO NOT WISH ANY BAD LUCK ON BYNUM. I hope he bounces back and bumps this team into the playoffs.
We are talking hypothetical if they stay healthy. Its more then likely they wont be healthy, but the OP was asking what we think they could do if they manage to stay on the court
Bynums and Varejao's injuries are well know, not unforeseen. I do think Cleveland is a playoff team either way, the East still sucks.
If Bynum plays up to his potential, this is the 6th best team in the east this season and rising.
Their range is 6-10 imo. The Cavs are extremely young, but very talented. If healthy they could be the 6th seed, but betting on Bynum, Varejao, and Irving to stay healthy is a losing bet. I think they'll be fighting for the 7th or 8th seed this year with the Pistons, Wizards, Cavs, and Raptors all trying to get the last 2 spots. I would like for them to make it to gain a little experience, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see them fall a little short and then make it in 2015.
I think they'll either get the 8 seed or just barely miss out on the playoffs. If Bynum can stay healthy, that's huge. But they still have zero defenders and nobody on the team can shoot worth a damn besides Kyrie.
Im putting them right behind the Wizards, at the 7th spot in the east, they have alot of potential if all of them stay healthy, but that's a big IF. . Can't wait to see what my man Dion will do this season, 14.7 ppg hsi rookie year playing with a scoring point guard is something to look at..
-The Greek Baller
The Cavs are boom or bust IMO. For arguments sake, subtract Bynum and Varejao form the roster- once you do that you're looking at a very shaky team. Thompson is developing upwards, but if he's your best frontcourt player then you have a problem.
That being said, if Bynum and Varejao are able to get their injuries under control and take turns covering the 5, then this team is a 6th or 7th seed.
If all works well for the Cavs, I see them earning the 6th seed, and possibly the fifth. That would mean Bynum gets healthy and stays healthy, returning to his 2011-2012 self. Dion Waiters must continue his growth as a solid shooting guard in this league. The book is open on Anthony Bennett and how he will perform. I could see them beating a team like the Nets or Knicks in the first round but I doubt they could get past the Pacers, Bulls, or heat.
How good could have the Cavs been if Dan Gilbert wasn't trying so hard to be the smartest guy in the room? Kyrie, Oladipo, Barnes, Jonas......
Have the Cavs improved themselves....yes.
I simply don't see the Cavs making the playoffs. If any NBA team can remain healthy for a full season, they could make a run at the playoffs!
I don't see Bynum playing no more than 50% of the season. And there bench isn't that good and there defense last season was pretty bad. And any player can stated he will eventually be the best shooting guard in the NBA. But I don't see that happening.
You make call me "hating" on the Cavs, in fact I don't dis-like the Cavs, I just see them for what they really are. Hopefully they can get the 8th spot in the East?
if this roster can pull it off they are easily a top 5 team in the NBA
Yikes, I must really over rate Kyrie, because there isn't a doubt in my mind that if they get at least 82 games out of AV and Bynum than they would make the playoffs. I think Kyrie is a transcendent talent, and view him the same way I did Kobe when he was younger: The kid who can put the ball on the floor and make something happen. While Kyrie and Kobe have different games, the mentality and skill are the same to me. I expect Kyrie to solidify himself amongst the stars this year, and we will see how much better he makes that team look.
The Cavs already have there star, and they have a copious amount of useful role players. Waiters, Varajao, Jack, Thompson, Gee, and possibly Bennet and Bynum can all contribute to a winning basketball team. I think that Jarrett Jack will have the same role in CLE that he did in GS, and he will be just as successful. Jack was the second leading scorer for the Warriors in the playoffs, and allowed Stephon Curry to play off the ball. I think we will see a lot of Kyrie/Jack backcourts where you see Kyrie trying to score more, and Jarrett Jack being the main facilitator (and vise versa).
While Mike Brown hasn't shown what he can do yet, I think it's imperative to note that he's always been a highly praised defensive minded coach, and the Cavs were a pathetic 23rd, 26, and 25th in points allowed the past three years. Surely Mike Brown will at least improve upon that, and with Kyrie and the rest of the potential I think this team has a bright future (With, or Without Bynum). Don't be surprised to see the Cavsin an ECF in the next couple of years
Useful role players...Thompson and Gee...no way! Sure Thompson is young and can become a good role player, but no way Gee. Right now, right now, the Cav's bench is bad. Sure Jack and Varajao will do stuff, but if I walked outside my house here in the Bay Area and asked around "what does Thompson and Gee bring"? I wonder what there answers would be? Again the Cavs have improved. I dig that you think the Cavs can make some noise, but I think they're a few years from making the playoffs. And you're saying in two years the Cavs will play in the ECF? That means, the Cavs will beat either the Pacers, Bulls, or Heat in a series?
Again, I don't hate the Cavs, they need to keep on building.
Another thing you have to look at is that they have some good trade assets. As this team stands right now I think they are a 4-6 range when fully healthy. I mean if they are fully healthy then they have a top 5 center and top 5 point guard with a deep bench, that's got to account for something. Jarrett Jack is a great 6th man and they have depth in the frontcourt. The sf spot is shaky but Clark can become into a really good defender with his size and athleticism.
Assuming no major injuries in the East and Bynum plays 70+ games putting up decent stats (15, 9, and 2 in 30 mpg), I think that they would finish 6th behind Miami, NY, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Indiana.