|2012-13 Team Rating|
|23rd Overall||27th Overall|
2012-13 Season Stats
Long on the what-if's, focusing on Andrew Bynum's and Anderson Varejao's familiar durability issues, Tristan Thompson's progress and No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett's transition over time to SF.
Kyrie Irving is moving fast up the ranks of not just point guards but NBA stars. He's poised to match LeBron James in hoisting Cavs to playoffs in third year.
We shall believe the impact that Varejao and Bynum can have in the middle defensively when we see it -- in absolute numbers rather than per-36 pro-rated ones.
Jarrett Jack was a surgical addition for Golden State last year and will be the same this season. Big man Earl Clark is solid and overall depth has improved.
Mike Brown should be able to tighten the screws of the Cavaliers' defense but it remains to be seen how his hands-on style offensively will mesh with Irving's creativity.
Dion Waiters had some folks worried early in his rookie season but settled in later, and the Cavaliers will hope that Bennett does the same. He wasn't expected to be the draft's top pick, but now faces some pressure to live up to that status. That needs to not be a whiff for Cleveland.
How well the group gels around Irving could dictate a number of things: A return to the postseason for the first time since 2010, Irvin's long-term viability in Cleveland and the appeal of the roster to James if the Heat star opts out for a real look around next summer. Reaching the postseason and maintaining an attractive supporting cast would seem within the Cavs' reach in 2013-14.
-- Steve Aschburner
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||B|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||B+|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|