Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Raven Report 10.28: 2014-15 #Cavs Season Preview

The Homecoming. The New Big Three. The New Cleveland
By @neveRWilliams

Everything changed on July 11, 2014. The best player in the world chose us. LeBron James chose to come home to Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But this new Cavs team actually started to take shape before then. Mike Brown was fired as coach on May 12, 2014 after going 33-49. On June 21, it was officially announced that ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) head coach David Blatt would be taking the reigns here in Cleveland. Blatt, 55, has been widely considered to be one of the best and brightest offensive minded coaches in the world. It was only a matter of time before he came to the NBA and Cleveland landed him with a 3-year deal worth about $10 million, with a 4th year team option. Blatt also guided the 2012 Russian Olympic team to a bronze medal. Coach Blatt was a 6-time Israeli Cup Champion, 2014 Euroleague Champion and the 2014 Euroleague Coach of the Year.

What's more to say that hasn't already been said about the re-arrival of LeBron James? It was literally one of the biggest NEWS stories in the world. A global figure with exquisite basketball skills and a business mind decided to come back to Cleveland, Ohio and the Cavaliers. The impact of having LeBron back in a Cavs uniform still hasn't settled in for some people. It still feels surreal to many. But believe it Cleveland. The king has come home, slimmed down and ready to lead this Cavs team to its first NBA championship.

But LeBron did not come to Cleveland alone. It started with Kyrie Irving re-signing to a 5-year, $90 million deal. But on August 23, the Cavs and GM David Griffin made another BIG TIME move. The Cavs traded rookie Andrew Wiggins and 2nd year player Anthony Bennett to Minnesota for superstar, all-star forward Kevin Love. Love is seen by many to be the best power forward in the NBA, especially after last season when he averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. After being fed up with the Timberwolves constant years of mistakes and bad decisions, Kevin was ready to get out of Minnesota and onto a team that would be a playoff contender. So, why not be apart of the NEW Cleveland Cavaliers.

So what do you do after you created a new, league feared "Big 3" in James, Love and Irving? You fill up that roster with men who know how to win in basketball. Joining the Cavs this season are veterans Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, James Jones, Brendon Haywood and Lou Amundson. Add in the young legs of rookie shooter Joe Harris and returning young, key players like the fantastic Dion Waiters, energetic Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and the rebounding and defensive machine that is Anderson Verajao, the Cavs seem to have the team that can be the best in the East and contend for the title.

Expectations by many see the Cavs winning between 55-65 games, if not more, which would easily put the Cavaliers into the playoffs. While many on the team may be seeing their first playoff action, the veterans will definitely help in guiding them along the way to success. The key will be the meshing of the best all-around player in the game in LeBron James with the excellent from court play of Kevin and Kyrie Irving running the point. Anderson Verajao and Tristan Thompson doing the dirty work and Dion Waiters trying to take a more prominent role with three all stars in place.

What fans need to remember is that even though it make take time to fully gel this squad together, it will and it will be worth it. These Cavaliers are going to be the favorite to win every night of the season. With that, they know that every team will be gunning to take them out every single night they play.

The season of excitement and dreams of a championship all begins on October 30 when the Cavs host Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.

#AllForOne #NewCleveland

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