The season is still not here, but most of the rosters are set, barring the requisite Michael Jordan comeback rumor (just kidding, but only a little). We have an idea where our team stands, but we can't really know unless we discuss everyone else. In that spirit, we're going to throw up a "competition discussion" thread for each of the other 29 teams over the next couple months or so. We'll go in alphabetical order from A to Z. Today's team: Cleveland. Jump to the comments to discuss the Cavaliers and make a prediction on their record.
Offensive Rating: 111.2 (6th)
Defensive Rating: 104.1 (7th)
Pace: 91.4 possessions/game (25th)
In: Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins, Joey Graham, Samardo Samuels
Out: LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Sebastian Telfair
Projected starting lineup: Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Antawn Jamison, J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao
Five big questions:
- No LeBron James ... so ... what happens?
- Will Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and others last the season?
- The Cavaliers' best player and their top prospect play the same position. How will minutes shake out, especially when the best player has historically shunned a bench role?
- Was Byron Scott the right man for this job, considering the team is probably now rebuilding?
- Is there some sort of motivating factor from the players to emerge from LeBron's shadow? Will that be reflected in the team's play?
Before we start, it's probably worth looking at how many teams have performed the year after losing one of the top two or three players in the game. Some examples, off the top of my head:
- Boston Celtics in 1969/70 after Bill Russell left: 34-48
- Milwaukee Bucks in 1975/76 after Kareem got traded: 38-44, after going 38-44 the previous year
- Los Angeles Lakers in 1991/92 after Magic retired: 43-39
- Boston Celtics in 1992/93 after Bird retired: 48-34
- Chicago Bulls in 1993/94 after Jordan retired: 55-27.
- Orlando Magic in 1996/97 after Shaq left: 45-37
- Chicago Bulls in 1998/99 after Jordan retired again: 13-37
- Los Angeles Lakers in 2004/05 after Shaq left: 34-48
Mike's prediction: 27-55, 12th in the Eastern Conference
BF editor predictions:
|Team||Mike Prada||CJ Hempfeld||Sean Fagan||Rook6980||Jon Kelman||Jake Whitacre|