The Cleveland Cavaliers finished last season with the best record in the NBA. That was before LeBron James left to go play for the Miami Heat. Now, they are going to have to fight to stay out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.
The team basically went into a landslide once James left. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas followed him to Miami via free agency. Center Shaquille O’Neal signed with the Boston Celtics.
So what does that leave for Cleveland this year? Point guard Mo Williams and power forward Antawn Jamison will both be left with a much larger scoring burden. They will both need to be a lot more efficient with scoring than they were last season, when they had James to carry them.
Anderson Varejao will be taking over the starting center position. He is a good morale player and a decent rebounder. That’s about all, though, which could prove to be a huge issue throughout the season.
Shooting guard Anthony Parker will also need to play a huge role in the offense. He was able to put together a decent regular season last year but choked in the playoffs.
Unless, by some miracle, Williams starts dropping 30 points a game and Jamison begins dominating, this Cavs squad will not make the playoffs. If they make some good trades and/or pickups next offseason, then they may be able to get back to the postseason. But before that, Cleveland fans will have a long, painful season to endure.
Be sure to check out the next article in this series for a season preview of the Dallas Mavericks!