To wait until the resumption of the NBA season on October 19, “The Free Agent” offers you every day to analyze last season, the changes, the five major and to make a prediction for the next season of each team. . Today the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A 2020-21 season that resembles that of previous years
Since the departure of LeBron James in 2018, the riders monopolize the last places in the Eastern Conference and the NBA. With 22 wins for 50 losses last year, the riders started to make some moves during the trade dealdine to prepare for this new season to try to do better. With real offensive assets, it is on the defense side that the Cavaliers have the biggest gaps. However, they finished in 28th place in the NBA in attack and 25th in defense.
Colin Sexton was alone on the attack front to bear the brunt of scoring and creating the game.
On paper, this team has enough to win at least 25 games this season (its total expected by the bookmakers being 28.5) but for this, the collective will have to break in with the arrivals of the offseason.
Youth, size and experience
The one who focuses our attention is called Ricky Rubio. Arrived from Minnesota, the veteran Spanish point guard will play this role of mentor that he is eager to play. A true game creator, Rubio will help this team to build its game and put its shooters in a better position to finally exploit this offensive talent present in the workforce.
Jarrett Allen arrived from Brooklyn last year and will be the cornerstone of the Cavs defense. Real wall, his presence in the racket of the two taken off the field will do the greatest good for this team. Of course he cannot do everything alone but with the young Evan Mobley drafted in 3rd position under his wing from the Trojans. Considered the best interior of the draft, Mobley has the talent to assert himself as the future franchise player of this team. With Allen secure for the next few years, the Cavs began to build a solid foundation.
Because it is with a slide defense that the offensive potential of this team can be expressed with in particular a three point shooter like Lauri Markkanen. He should offer long-range shot and three-point spacing that the team haven’t been able to get from Kevin Love since signing his massive extension in 2018.
Defense is the best attack?
This has been JB Bickerstaff’s mantra since moving to Ohio. For this, he can rely on Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro. Because for the rest, the other players are not known to be fierce defenders. But these two players will not be able to multiply or play the 3 936 minutes of play of the season.
Everyone will have to be concerned to unleash the attack and its potential. The lack of a defense specialist in the riders’ strength will be a real handicap, especially in Okoro and Allen’s rest phases.
The play-in? Truly ?
The ambition displayed by the riders is to come back after the regular season and therefore to grab a place for the play-in. But is it really achievable?
It seems complicated as the projects awaiting Bickerstaff are numerous with the defense, the management of Kevin Love, the back-court Sexton-Garland and the development of Mobley who may take time and therefore energy.
The Cavaliers are unlikely to win more than 25 games this season and will, once again, be at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, aiming for another good place in the 2022 draft.