Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
- NBA targeting Sept. 25 for date of draft, sources say - May 29, 2020
- NBA has sights set on July 31 for resumption of season - May 29, 2020
- Many NBA GMs favor ‘playoff-plus’ format to postseason - May 29, 2020
A lot of people seem to think the Cavaliers will be among the worst teams in the NBA. The Cavs themselves will tell you they are in a “developmental” phase. That said, general manager Koby Altman, new coach John Beilein and the rest aren’t exactly playing to lose.
Winning is still the goal. But pushing forward with youth, learning Beilein’s system and playing as a team in truest sense are all a close second.
Here are four reasons to keep an eye on the Cavs this season:
1. Kevin Love. The best player on the team is also the biggest mystery. First, can he stay healthy for even half the season? Second, will he still be on the team after the trade deadline? Those are the same two questions we’ve asked about Love since about the time Dr. James Naismith hung the peach baskets. How they are answered will determine what type of team the Cavs become.
2. Collin Sexton. A so-so start to his rookie year was followed by a big finish. Sexton found his groove right before the All-Star break in February. Most fans had stopped watching by then, but if you missed Sexton in the second half, you missed a lot. He’s not a dynamic, flashy player and may never be an All-Star. But he can score, he is a willing learner and he puts in the work. There is every reason to believe he can take the next step.
3. Darius Garland. The Cavs know something the rest of us don’t. Why? Because they selected him with a lottery pick — after Garland played just a handful of college games and barely worked out for teams before the draft. Still, people who evaluate players for a living look at this kid and insist they see shades of Steph Curry. “He will knock your socks off,” one opposing scout told me in June. It will be very interesting to see Garland as an individual, and how he fares next to Sexton.
4. Beilein. He’s 66 years old and has never coached one second in the NBA. He comes across as everyone’s favorite uncle, always with a smile, a kind word and positive message. He runs an equal opportunity offense that focuses on passing, cutting and keeping things moving. Oh, and the 3-point shot. “Call it Warriors Lite,”the opposing scout said. Beilein’s offense has been described as simple for the players but confusing for opponents. It will be interesting to see how well everyone adapts.
CAVALIERS DEPTH CHART
Point guard: Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Matthew Dellavedova, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Knight.
Shooting guard: Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Knight, Kevin Porter Jr.
Small forward: Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler, Sindarius Thornwell, Kevin Porter Jr., Daniel Hamilton.
Power forward: Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, Jarell Martin, Dean Wade.
Center: Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic, Larry Nance Jr., John Henson.