Basketball season is just around the corner and the most interesting team in the NBA is probably the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A team that has gone to the NBA Finals three consecutive years has made some drastic changes to the roster.
In fact, the Cavs might have the deepest roster in the league, with 14 players currently on the roster who have had success in the NBA.
That number includes the newest Cavalier, 12 time all star Dwyane Wade, who signed with the wine and gold after getting a buyout from the Chicago Bulls.
Tyronn Lue will need all the depth because there is a lot medical issues on the roster, so the 12 players who are active will probably change on the night by night basis.
Isaiah Thomas will likely miss the first two and a half months with his hip injury, so he will not be part of the mix early in the season, and we would expect Wade, who will turn 36 this season, to get plenty of games off as well.
Veterans like Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, and Richard Jefferson are others who may not be active every night when the schedule gets heavy.
Lue will have to find a balance between rest and rust for these players, making sure they can stay sharp in the regular season while making sure they are sharp for the post-season.
What will this mean if the Cavs and Golden State Warriors match up in The Finals for a 4th straight season?
For one, Cleveland played even with the Warriors when LeBron James was on the floor, but when James was on the bench, Golden State rolled.
Hopefully, there is way more firepower off the bench, and it’s not just the extreme isolation ball (Kyrie Irving) or one dimensional three point shooters.
With players like Wade and Derrick Rose, Lue has more players who can create their own shots at his disposal, and that will keep more pressure on opponents.
Face it, last year, the only Cavs who could create offense were James and Irving. This year, Lue has James, Wade, Rose, and Thomas when he returns.
And they still have JR Smith, Korver, Frye, and of course Kevin Love, who can knock down threes. Don’t sleep on Jae Crowder in that regard either.
Cleveland also added a premier defender in Crowder, which will take some of the responsibility for guarding Kevin Durant away from James, and veteran Jeff Green, who can cover both small and power forwards.
There is no question is our mind that the difference in the Finals was Durant.
If he can be slowed down, it would definitely help the Cavs’ cause.
While giving the veterans some rest, he could use that time to develop young players Cedi Osman, Ante Zizic, and Edy Tavares. The latter two could be key because the roster still seems to be one quality big man short.
It will also be interesting to see how quickly the newcomers gel with the players who were here last season.
Lue and James have made the transition much quicker than it has taken other teams in the past.
Will the Cavs miss the player they traded to Boston? They certainly will miss his incredible shot making ability.
On the other hand, they won’t have to play a completely different style with James off the floor, which could lead to a reduced workload. They should also have ball movement no matter who is on the floor.
It should be fun and it should be interesting to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers this year. Watching a highly motivated James won’t be bad either.