NBA season starts on Tuesday and the clear favorite to take home the title is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their season came to a close last year in the NBA Finals where the Golden State Warriors were able to take home the championship defeating Lebron James 4-2 in a best of 7 series.
As you are reading this, you may ask why Lebron James was stated instead of the Cavaliers as a whole team. If you were able to watch his series against the Warriors, the intentions are vivid.
Lebron James averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the 6-game series with the Warriors. After his 6th straight season leading his team all the way to the NBA Finals, many considered his performance worthy enough for the Finals MVP even though they suffered defeat.
At some point throughout the clinic he portrayed in the Finals, every single person had to have thought he deserved some sort of trophy for his performance.
Throughout it all, people tend to forget the struggles the Cavaliers were dealing with during the Finals against the Warriors. Even though Lebron James made this team perform to the best of their potential, the absence of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to injuries really played a toll on the team as a whole. Great performances by Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson, along with breakout games from Dellavedova did spark some light to the team, but the absence of spreading out the court along with the sharp shooting of Mr. MVP Steph Curry was too deep of a hole to recover from.
Where can Lebron James lead his kingdom this year?
First things first, who are they bringing back?
Well, we all remember the most recent contract that was finally signed. Tristan Thompson, after months of stalled talks, signed a 5-year $82 million contract. People realize the importance of Thompson, but the real story behind that is Lebron James and his continuing support of Thompson over the years. David Blatt along with the rest of the Cavaliers executive know better than to go against the wants and needs of their prized possession James.
New additions of Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson provide more depth, giving more incentive to limiting Lebron James and his minutes as the regular season rolls by.
Kyrie Irving, who fractured his left kneecap in the NBA Finals, has begun running and other rehab activities, but remains a ways off returning to practice.
In better news, Kevin Love is set to be back and healthy as the season comes to a start. The addition of Kevin Love (who averaged 16.5 PPG, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists) allows the Cavaliers to have a more spread-out offense leading to more fast-pace, efficient gameplay.
Well well well, how is it going to play out? Will the Cavaliers have the right pieces to make another run at the Finals and finally stop the drought in Cleveland?
Vegas thinks so. Vegas Insider states that the Cavaliers have 14/5 odds in coming out victorious this year. The Spurs are second with 4/1, followed by last year’s champion Golden State Warriors with 5/1 odds.
As the season is set to start for the Cavaliers on Tuesday 8pm ET in Chicago, time will tell us exactly what we need to know.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst