With the announcement of the waving of center Kendrick Perkins and guard Isaac Hamilton on Sunday by General Manager Koby Altman I thought it would be a great time to discuss how I think the Cleveland Cavaliers would go this season. I’m not discussing this because they are my team, but with their new additions this off season (being my team or not) they are definitely the team I am most looking forward to watching this season.
Let’s get to the new additions, in return for just Kyrie Irving the Cavs recieved Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, a 2018 first round pick and The Miami Heat’s 2020 first round pick. Whilst Irving is a phenomenal player, its by far fair to say the Cavs got the better end of the trade stick. It was a trade that shocked the basketball world, I honestly didn’t believe it myself at first, I had to look several times.
The first round picks are excellent and Zizic did okay in the Euroleague, but lets get to the 2 big additions. We’l start off with Jae Crowder, the 27 year old SF from Georgia. Last year was a good year with the Celtics, Crowder averaged 13.9 PPG, 2.2 APG and 5.8 RPG. He also had a big game against the Pacers this pre-season for the Cavs dropping 17 points in 22 minutes of play. Crowder’s most useful attribute this season is going to be is his 3 point shooting, its going to have to be. With the likes of James, Thomas and Rose taking it to the rim and leading the offense he’s going to have to take a step back and drop those 3’s. Either way Im looking forward to seeing the big guy this season.
To arguably the most exciting addition to Cleveland this season, Isaiah Thomas. One of my favourite players simply because of his ability to score and his work rate. He has an Iverson work rate with the mentality to go with it and it’s so refreshing to see that. Whilst he hasn’t reached the likes of Westbrook or Harden yet, you can bet you’l be seeing him in that bracket in the next 2 – 3 years. Especially now with the help of James, Wade and Rose. He’s got some real talent around him, and great mentors. Last season Thomas averaged 28.9 PPG, 5.9 APG, 2.7 RPG, awesome numbers for the 28 year old. The big elephant in the room is obviously his hip injury, but is expected to return in January. “I’l be back soon and dropping 30 a night” said Thomas at a press conference on the matter. And i actually believe him, if that hip doesn’t give him any trouble he is going to be putting up big numbers.
As for the other two big names; Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose I have recently done an article on the two so check that out if you haven’t already.
Its opening night on Wednesday with The Cavs taking on the Celtics and Quicken Loans Arena. Irving has shown no love for The Cavs or the city itself in his departure. When asked about his return to the arena he said “Its just basketball”. An arrogant statement in my opinion. Kyrie was one of my players before this whole situation happened. I find him very arrogant as a player, I don’t doubt his skills but what I do doubt is how he thinks his impact at the Celtics will go. He wants to be the main man, I get that. But there is no way in hell he is winning a ring or an MVP award at the Celtics. Boston won’t even win the East. I hope the Cavaliers put Irving and the Celtics away on opening night and I believe that;s exactly whats going to happen.
I predict Cleveland to win the Eastern conference and meet the Warriors once again in the finals. Do I think Cleveland can win another championship? Absolutely, anything is possible. I think the Warriors will do it once more but like I said, anything is possible. Especially if James plays how he did in last season’s playoffs.
Here’s the highlights of the Cavs first pre-season win against Orlando: