The 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers were always going to be a buzz-generating team, and the preseason proved this to be correct. Everyone imaginable took to Twitter and other social media to talk about the various storylines of this Cavaliers squad.
The only aspect holding the Cavs back—and I mean from owning the preseason—has been injuries. The new Big Three has only played together in a scrimmage and some of the Tel Aviv game.
Point guard Kyrie Irving has missed games with a foot injury while newly acquired forward Kevin Love has missed time with a neck injury.
LeBron James has missed some time so that he can rest, and even the mascot missed some games recently.
It is important to note that these injuries aren't serious and that the Cavs are committed to resting players when they pick up little knocks. This rest and caution will figure to work in the Cavs' favor though it does limit their ability to build chemistry.
Defensive commitment and ability have been the biggest question marks for the Cavs, as offensive firepower is a given. The Cavs were a middle-of-the-road defensive team last year, ranking 16th in points allowed and 17th in opponent field-goal percentage.
They added James, who can defend any position and any player better than most, but they also added Love, who has a reputation for lacking defensive acumen.
The biggest factor for the defensive ability of this team will be effort. When it wants to be good on defense, it can be. Shear athleticism and effort could make this team good enough on defense to win a title.
Even in the preseason, this team has had no shortage of excitement.
Though their time together has been limited, the plays between Irving and James have produced spectacular results.
Love, in limited playing time, has shown his ability to fill it up, scoring an average of 19 points in games in which he played 20 minutes or more.
The preseason has given us a small sample size of what I believe we will see all season from this team. The excitement and highlight plays will certainly be there in abundance.
But so will stretches of lackluster defense.
This team also, like many other contenders, will not be able to succeed if health becomes a concern.