With all the new additions, will the Cleveland Cavaliers play any different? Here’s a look at how the Cleveland Cavaliers will look in 2023-24.
With the new players on the roster, the actual team will look different from last year. New additions include Sam Merrill, Georges Niang, Ty Jerome, Max Strus, Damian Jones, Tristan Thompson and Zhaire Smith. The Cavaliers also drafted and signed Emoni Bates to a two-way contract (but more on that later).
The new players seem to be acclimating well. Strus and Niang have both been vocal about how much they like the team, and players on the Cavaliers roster and staff have shared the enthusiasm with the new guys. While players such as Strus, Niang, Jerome and Thompson will spend more time (at least initially) with the Cavaliers, the other new players will likely spend the majority of their time with the Charge. Unless they can impress the coaches. When speaking on the new look of the team, J.B. Bickerstaff said about his new players: “We think we’ve invested in the right type of people and they have continued to get better. I expect our team to take a leap because that’s what the character of our guys says they’ll be able to do.”
Bates, second round Cleveland draft pick, is a player who has been impressing the coaches and players. Both Bickerstaff and Darius Garland commented to the media on their surprise at how much Bates is impressing them. While Garland remarked on his athletic shooting ability, Bickerstaff’s comments were more focused on his defense. Praising Bates’s ability to use his length on defense, putting the effort in on the defensive end will go a long way in this organization. Finishing last season as the best ranked defensive team in the league, players who join this team must be willing to contribute.
While Cleveland fans can still expect the same level of effort on the defensive end, the offensive might look a little different. When asked about the new playstyle of the team, Bickerstaff commented on better utilizing the frontcourt, being less predictable and speeding the game up a touch. With the new shooters, this will probably lead to more assists and early buckets.
Storm on the horizon
One familiar aspect of Cleveland’s game that should drastically improve is three point making. Although they hit a respectable 950 threes last season, that landed them at nineteenth in the league in this respect. They made 413 less than the Golden State Warriors who finished with the most made threes.
Although it’s not likely (but possible) that the Cavs could reach this mark next season, they did sign guys who could help. Niang, Jerome and Strus are all excellent shooters, and Bates has the potential to work his way into that same caliber of player.
Donovan Mitchell also set the record for most threes made in a season for the Cavs at 245, and Garland is also a very talented shooter from deep. This team has some changes coming, and although the threes were there last year, the rate at which they come may be the most noticeable change.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
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