The Golden State Warriors have left teams looking to chase them. The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be one of the teams hot on their trail.
The Warriors look to beat teams with a deep rotation and many players who can play multiple positions. The Cavaliers have accomplished one of those things extremely well this offseason.
The Cavaliers depth is now at the same level of the Warriors, and there’s no denying that. Dwyane Wade joins a Cavaliers team as a steal. He adds depth at a shooting guard position and provides it at a low price (one year, $2.3 million).
The key loss this summer was Kyrie Irving and the key additions consist of Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Wade.
Let’s start off with the surplus of depth the Cavaliers have added this offseason. The Cavaliers arguably won the Kyrie Irving trade due to the depth that they added.
They added an All-Star in Isaiah Thomas and also added Jae Crowder, who is an upgrade at backup small forward and can shoot the three. On a team centered around LeBron James, shooting the three is a vital part of the Cavaliers’ offense.
Their starters will most likely be Thomas, Wade, James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.
The second team features Derrick Rose, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Crowder and Edy Tavares. Mix in Channing Frye and Jeff Green whenever the matchups seem favorable and this team is extremely deep.
The added depth helps with their matchup with the Warriors. Last season, including the postseason, the Cavaliers went 2-5 and allowed 120.3 points per game on average. In the five finals games, Kevin Durant averaged over 35 per game.
With Crowder on board, James gets relief on the defensive end from Kevin Durant and has a better chance of being rested in the fourth quarter to open up his offensive game.
Competing with the Warriors
The Warriors have taken the new NBA and become unguardable. With the Warriors depth and their ability to add players who can be interchangable on both offense and defense, they are sometimes impossible to guard.
The Cavaliers have now covered the depth that they seemingly lacked in the 2017 NBA Finals.
The one problem that seems to be looming is what is going to happen at the point guard position. Thomas does add offensive firepower against the Warriors, but there’s a good chance that the Warriors will capitalize on his lack of height and have someone shoot right over him.
Rose could potentially see a rise in minutes come playoff time due to his size and not necessarily his scoring.
Listen, lots of sixth man award winners are pretty much primarily offensive weapons. J.R. Smith is on a very good team with the ability to come in and just flat out score. He won’t be as tired because he will be playing less and more efficient minutes.
I think J.R. finds a way to be in the top three voting for the sixth man of the year award. He might not be thrilled with losing his starting job to Wade, but I think he thrives in his new role off the bench. He is a former sixth man of the year winner in, so the statement isn’t too far fetched.
Smith averaged 8.6 points in 29 minutes per game last year, which was the second lowest total of his career. The Cavaliers are loaded, and with less pressure on him, output should improve.
The Cavaliers still look like the top team in the East. They have gotten closer to Golden State and can officially hit them with two full lines of very good players.
The Cavaliers will have a new look to them this year and will have way more ammo to throw at the Warriors.
Featured Image Courtesy of SBnation.com.
“From Our Haus to Yours”