Can Cleveland Bring NBA Excitement Back To The Land?
Cleveland was the center of the NBA universe just a few years ago when LeBron James was leading their Cavaliers to NBA Finals appearances on a regular basis. Since his departure for the Los Angeles Lakers, though, the team has fallen back on hard times. Heading into this season, there are some reasons to be interested in the Cavaliers as a team. But can Cleveland take those points of interest and turn them into wins?
The biggest point of interest for the Cavaliers heading into the 2019-2020 NBA season will be seeing how the team responds to the hire of former Michigan Wolverines coach John Beilein. Beilein had a very successful career coaching college basketball, but it isn't unfair to wonder how he will perform now that he is on the big stage of the NBA.
Looking at the history of coaches who have made the jump from college to the pros, there have been plenty of failures. John Calipari failed to pan out as a professional coach. Billy Donovan is currently failing as a professional coach. And the Cavaliers are hoping that Beilein can break that trend and deliver the Cavs back into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Because of the issues that previous college coaches have had making this leap and the shortcomings that exist on the Cavaliers' roster, predictions for the 2019-2020 NBA season have the Cavaliers as a bottom-feeder in the East yet again, you can read more about NBA news here. But there are some reasons to believe that the Cavaliers might be better this season and that they may be able to get ahead of some squads in the conference.
The first of those reasons are the steps forward that some of their younger players have made. Cedi Osman is chief among those players, having had some breakout performances at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Collin Sexton is another player who got better as last season went on, and both should be sources of improvement for the Cavs heading into the new campaign.
Cleveland should also have a healthy Kevin Love this season, something that they did not have for the bulk of last year. Love played in about a quarter of the team's games last season, which left the team without its best player and the lone key piece from their championship run. Love is one of the game's best rebounders, and his absence really hurt the team's ability to be impactful on the boards. If Love can play close to 82 games this coming season, he will help the Cavs give up fewer second chances which should lead to more wins.
Another cause for excitement for the Cavaliers is the fact that the Eastern Conference will not be as tough this year as it has been in years past. For the second straight offseason, the conference's best player has left for the Western Conference, with Kawhi Leonard leaving Toronto to join the Los Angeles Clippers this summer. And with Kevin Durant likely to miss the entire season for Brooklyn, Cleveland should be able to get a few more wins as their young core continues to improve.