It’s the new Big Three, the new Power Trio in the (l)eastern conference. NBA fever has hit Cleveland again in the name of Lebron, teaming up with Kyrie, Dion & Andy, adding Love to the new mix that already includes Mike Miller, James Jones, and possibly Jesus Shuttlesworth himself, Mr Ray Allen in a Cavs uniform (man I wanted that like 12 years ago!).
So — who’s buying it?
I really enjoyed watching the 2010 Miami Heat struggle. I really enjoyed watching them fight and perservere all the way to the finals. And man did I enjoy watching those arrogant punks lose to Dallas.
Then they started winning – two dark years in Cleveland basketball history – Bron In Black was everywhere winning everything. We had to endure the “Heat Watch” and all the Beibers court side with James’ ice jersey. El Heatles. Blech. 2 years to go from millions of Witnesses to 14000 Beliebers leaving the arena early at a Finals game.
So now he’s back – thinner, older, wiser, and hopefully not slower. What will Lebron’s new trio do as compared to he’s previous unit?
I just don’t have a read on it yet. I’m an observational guy, and with so much new with coach Blatt and all these ex-Heat players, the mess that Mike Brown’s rehire/refire trick left, my head is swimming trying to predict how this team stacks up.
I know a starting five of Irving, Waiters, LBJ, Love, and Varajao is not a problem in any way. That’s a ton of scoring, passing, rebounding, garbage work, slashing, shooting, and just enough defending. Cavs should put up 100+ a night without too much trouble.
I know a bench rotation of Thompson, Dellavadova, Miller, Jones, and Haywood isn’t too shabby either. You got a scrappy defensive guard, 2 big forwards, and 2 shooters. Add Ray Allen to that bench and it’s that much stronger, but pretty old. There are also several rings on that bench.
He has lobbied against it, but Waiters on the 2nd unit might be the most efficient lineup, replaced by Mike Miller in the starting lineup. Miller gives Lebron his wing spacing and more length, and Dion could be sixth man of the year as the only pure scorer off the bench.
End of bench guys look to be rookies Joe Harris, Dwight Powell, and that 7 footer Kirk we just signed. Don’t expect much from these three but you need depth. There’s always hope one of them is the next Boobie Gibson, elevated from the end of the bench to temporary superstar in LBJ’s wake.
My worries include:
- Are we are getting the old, soon to deteriorate James? His weight loss this offseason is the first major body change I’ve seen in him since he bulked up around his 4th-5th year in the L. He says it’s to get faster. Some say it’s to save his knees. Some even whisper that he’s lost it in the gym, being a dad and hanging home eating pop tarts like the rest of us. We shall see, but I expect nothing short of domination from him, because that’s what he’s always done. He doesn’t push through and dunk over everyone like he did 5 years ago, he’s more efficient with his offensive variety now.
- Are the snipers shooting at Kevin Love correct? Is it because he’s a white guy, playing in cold distant Minny, buried in the western conference, that he is underrated? Or wait – Overrated? Who can tell with so many opinions out there. I think the guy is a Top 5 PF and can be compared to a Tim Duncan in his overall effectiveness. If Bosh worked well enough with Lebron, Love should be lights out. Love’s offensive game is more varied and creative than Bosh’s.
- Will Kyrie stop being a defensive liability? If your PG is a turnstile you can’t go all the way, even with Lebron (see Jeff McInnis). The PG has to disrupt the play from the top, or otherwise disturb the opposing PG within the 2nd pass or he’s useless on defense. Most offenses will get whatever shot they want. Kyrie needs to take pride in shutting down the other PG, getting some steals, and taking some charges. His crazy fast feet could make him a much better defender but he just doesn’t seem to try as hard at the defensive end. This could be the fatal flaw to the Cavs Trio.
- Will Dion Waiters get the love and respect he deservers as one of the most exciting young guards in the L? Guys like Oladipo get more pub but on a nightly basis Dion is more exciting to watch. He’s capable of almost anything on the court, including some crazy shots, but I know that Lebron loves his game, and I do too.
Camp hasn’t even been announced yet, Love isn’t even on the team yet (or Allen), and the new uniforms haven’t been displayed (stab). I will be watching the Cavs SuperTeam, as most of America will, and will prob have lots more to say on it.
I can’t put them as any kind of favorites to win anything more than a lot of games. I said the Heat would struggle early and they did, eventually making it to the finals in their first year and losing. If the Cavs make the Finals in the first year that would be amazing, given the lack of playoff experience in the young players. Chicago, Indiana, and Washington are still my favorites in the east, this year.
But the Cavs Power Trio is for real, coach Blatt is seemingly the best man for such a job (win now or go home), and my team will be on national TV 29 times next season. That’s star power and it should be fun to watch (again).