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NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers

Division: CentralGM: Chris GrantHead Coach: Byron Scott
2011-12: 21-45 (13th in East)vs. division 3-12
Points93.0 (25th)
Rebounds42.3 (14th)
Assists19.8 (23rd)
Opp Pts100.2 (26th)

Last Season

After bottoming out in 2010-11 following the departure of LeBron James, the Cavaliers showed some improvement last season, winning two more games despite playing in 22 fewer contests as a result of the lockout.

Kyrie Irving lived up to his billing as the top overall pick, claiming Rookie of the Year honours.

Things were far from perfect however, as fellow top-five pick Tristan Thompson had an up-and-down season and the rest of the team showed its youth, finishing 14 games out of a playoff spot.

Who's In/Who's Out

Key Additions: G Kelenna Azubuike, F Jon Leuer, F C.J. Miles, G Jeremy Pargo
Key Losses: C Semih Erden, G Manny Harris, F Antawn Jamison, F D.J. Kennedy, G Anthony Parker
DRAFTED
Round 1 (4th overall) - SG Dion Waiters - Syracuse

Analysis: A gifted natural scorer with excellent ball-handling ability, Waiters offensive upside allowed him to climb into the top-five in the draft. If he is able to improve his jump-shot, the undersized guard will be a dangerous contributor at the next level.

Round 1 (17th overall) - C Tyler Zeller - North Carolina (acquired from Mavericks)

Analysis: The fourth Tar Heel selected in the first round of the draft, the seven-footer runs the floor well and has nice touch around the basket, but is not overly athletic and needs to get stronger.


Season Outlook

The Good

On Point

The Cavs are expecting more big things from reigning rookie of the year Kyrie Irving in year two.

Dynamic Backcourt - Knowing they already had one potential superstar in their backcourt, Cleveland surprised some experts by taking Waiters with their fourth overall pick. The Syracuse product has big time athleticism and scoring ability, but has a lot of work to do to round out his game. Pairing him with the dynamic Irving should only help his development and if anything, makes the Cavs a downright scary transition team right away. With Irving already looking like a potential star, Cleveland will be set for a long time at the guard position if Waiters can develop in a similar way.

The Bad

Offence - It would not be much of an exaggeration to say the Cavaliers were a one-player half-court offense last season. Besides Irving, Cleveland had almost no one else who was able to score on a consistent basis. When healthy, Antawn Jamison was an option, but he signed with the Lakers in the off-season. C.J. Miles and rookie Zeller may help the cause somewhat, but they are role players at this point. So unless Waiters and Thompson are able to show significant improvement in their shooting abilities, the offense will again be almost totally reliant upon Irving.

Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.

Power Rankings

25
Still picking up the pieces in the post-LeBron era.

Player Projections

Rising star Kyrie Irving is the Cavaliers' one bona fide star at 17th overall.

Inexperience - With the exception of veteran Anderson Varejao, the Cavaliers starting five will feature three first or second year players, plus fourth year man Alonzo Gee. That type of inexperience typically leads to an abundance of mistakes, specifically on the defensive end. That was certainly true last season, as Cleveland finished 26th in the NBA in points allowed. And it was Irving's play on the defensive end that was particularly poor, as he ranked near the bottom of most defensive ratings. Being the team's best player, the Cavs will only show significant improvement going forward unless he is able to raise his game at that end of the floor.

X Factor: Tyler Zeller
One of the most productive players to ever put on a Tar Heels jersey, the 7-footer is not overly athletic, but has a well-rounded offensive game – something Cleveland is in dire need for from a big man. Pairing him with Thompson -- who can finish at the rim and rebound, but has serious issues shooting from outside the paint -- may be a recipe for success.

What to Expect
The Cavaliers improved their winning percentage by nearly 100 points last season, so a similar increase should move them to at least within shouting distance of a playoff spot. Still, Cleveland is likely two or three years away from seriously challenging, but with the continued development of their young talent and another high pick in the draft, the franchise looks to be headed in the right direction.

Depth Chart

Power Forward

Tristan Thompson
Jon Leuer
Samardo Samuels
Luke Harangody

Centre

Anderson Varejao
Tyler Zeller
Michael Eric

Small Forward

Alonzo Gee
Omri Casspi
Luke Walton
Kelenna Azubuike

Shooting Guard

C.J. Miles
Daniel Gibson
Dion Waiters

Point Guard

Kyrie Irving
Donald Sloan
Jeremy Pargo

Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade

The Cavs continued their slow crawl back to relevancy this summer by picking up Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller in the draft and watching Kyrie Irving stun the Team USA brass as a member of the Select Team.

They may not be racing ahead as an organization, but they are slowly acquiring the pieces that will put them back on the NBA map.

They have also maintained great cap flexibility, so that if a trade or signing presents itself that could fast-forward their rebuilding cycle they are in a good position to pull the trigger.

For now, though, slow and steady is the (smart) strategy in Ohio.

Grade: B-

Tipping Off

The Cavaliers start the season on opening night at home against the Wizards.

Oct. 30 7pm et Wizards @ Cavaliers
Next 4 games
Nov.2 vs CHI 7:30pm et
Nov. 3 @ MIL 8:30pm et
Nov. 5 @ LAC 10:30pm et
Nov. 7 @ GS 10:30pm et

Game 1: Nets at Raptors (TSN)

Saturday at Noon et/9am pt


NBA on TSN Broadcast Schedule


Western Conference

(1) SA v (8) DAL (4) HOU v (5) POR
(2) OKC v (7) MEM (3) LAC v (4) GS


Eastern Conference

(1) IND v (8) ATL (4) CHI v (5) WSH
(2) MIA v (7) CHA (3) TOR v (6) BKN


Playoff Schedule/Game-By-Game Breakdown



Big Tour
Social Media
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Podcasts

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: Ryan Ruocco- April 18, 2014

Ryan Ruocco joins Macko & Cauz to tee up what should be an exciting first round match up between the Raptors and Nets.

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: April 17 - Brian Windhorst

ESPNs Brian Windhorst joins Macko & Cauz to discuss the upcoming Raptors/Nets series, and the lack of respect shown by Brooklyn to Toronto.

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - April 13 2014

New 1On1 with Will & Duane discuss Raptors tying 47 wins, no playoffs for Knicks/Celtics/Lakers, Final Four wrap up and more news, views and truths.


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