Are Cavs better than they were with Kyrie?

J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers have been flying high since a flurry of deadline-day trades.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship in 2016, making history by rallying from a 3-1 deficit to take down defending champion Golden State behind The Big Three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, avenging a loss in The Finals the previous season when Irving and Love were injured.

Last year, Golden State turned the tables, beating LeBron, Irving, Love & Co. in five games in The Finals.

Heading into the All-Star break, the Cavaliers are again rolling, with LeBron leading the way and The New 4 being mixed in, Cleveland has won four consecutive games and stands 34-22 at the break, winners of seven of its last 10.

The retooled Cavs have FOX Sports’ Chris Broussard believing, get this, that the current Cavs are actually better than the squad that had Irving as its starting point guard.

The Cavaliers granted Irvings request for a trade on Aug. 22, sending him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick and Miami’s second-round selection in 2020.

All Cleveland has remaining from that deal after its deadline-day makeover are Zizic and the prize of the deal on the Cavaliers’ side, the Brooklyn pick.

8 Comments on "Are Cavs better than they were with Kyrie?"

  1. Agree with Broussard on this one. The guy debating him makes no sense. The new roster absolutely has a chance to compete with Golden State. How can anyone write them off at this point?

    The big question is, can Larry Nance, Jr. guard Kevin Durant? Because that’s going to be it. I think Hill and Clarkson can take on Curry, but KD is the difference maker for the Warriors.

    • On Durant the question is can LeBron and Jeff Green guard Durant? Throw Rodney Hood in there too. Don’t forget Durant has to guard these guys too.

  2. Better regular season team maybe, I can buy that, deeper and younger and more athletic and more professional.

    Playoffs are a different game I look forward to seeing how this team plays after they’ve been scouted a couple months and in higher pressure situations.

    • Great thoughts. I am also curious how they will be once Love returns. The good news is they do have veterans who have been through the wars … LeBron, Love, Tristan, JR and even Hill. And that right there will be your starting five in the playoffs. To me, Lue has to make sure Korver stays involved. The Cavs will need his veteran experience off the bench when it matters.

    • Good comment. Similar to what I see has happened to the Celtics. It’s like teams have figured them out. They are now giving up points like crazy. But the Cavs play kind of free. For example if Clarkson has a mismatch they will let him work it. Same with LeBron.

  3. The Cavs are better because of the depth. They now have several players who can create their own shot. They are real threats because of their versatility. And everyone keeps forgetting Jeff Green who has played great all season. I worry a little about how the young guys play in the playoffs, but we have enough veteran leadership to weather that. Besides they performed against Boston and OKC on the road. They didn’t shrink from the moment at all. Kobe Altman still doesn’t get enough credit for what he pulled off.

    • I agree with you Martin. Kyrie is a really special athlete and more talented overall than Hill imho. However, I see Hill as the exact type of pg LeBron and cavs need. Just in that scenario, I see Hill being the better option as he doesn’t pound the freaking ball into the floor. But this Cavs team is much deeper than the 2016 variety. The BENCH!!!

      As far as the young guys and not knowing how they’ll do, it’ll be fun to see which one/or more will become a star because of playing in the playoffs. Hood might wake up and realize this is his spotlight and Nance playing with his dad’s number might be jacked. WE don’t know. Should be fun.

  4. Mitchell L Schwartz | February 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm |

    It’s not fair or accurate to say all the Cav’s have left from the Kyrie trade is Zizic and the Brooklyn pick. They don’t get Rodney Hood if they don’t have Crowder to trade. They don’t have the expiring contract if they don’t have IT to be part of the Lakers trade. You have to look at the whole picture,

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