Team RankingPTS/GOPP PTS/G
Central Division111.3 (1st)107.6 (5th)
Eastern Conference1st11th
Mejia's Offseason Grade
It was a given Cleveland was going to get LeBron James a playmate considering their cap flexibility, but what the franchise was able to accomplish went above and beyond expectations. Kudos to new GM Danny Ferry for coming in with a plan to spend owner Dan Gilbert's money and flaunting it freely. Grade: A+.
Key Players
LeBron James: Is it normal to be this young and this good? LeBron James can do it all.
Larry Hughes: He gives the Cavs an scorer who can take some of the focus off of James.
Role Playing
Donyell Marshall, Forward
Happy difference-maker: If you were to take a poll, there are few players happier with their new surroundings than Marshall, who had his share of strong performances in purgatory, er, Toronto last season, yet went largely unappreciated. Remember, this is a guy who was the subject of every possible trade rumor, yet stayed put and did his best every night. He'll now toil for a team that joneses for his services and is looking forward to the offensive lift he'll provide off the bench.
Eric Snow, Guard
Defense and stability: It's going to be interesting to see how Mike Brown handles him and Damon Jones, particularly late in games, when he'll have to weigh the value of Jones' 3-point prowess against Snow's defense and sound decision-making. Either way, expect the veteran playmaker to see plenty of action.
Anderson Varejao, Forward
Emotion and rebounding: It's probably no coincidence that the Cavs went into the tank when Mr. Carrot Top's 'Do went on IR last season. He supplies them with terrific energy and concentrates heavily on rebounding and defense, limiting a drop off when either of the starting big men go to the bench. Don't be shocked to see him challenge for a starting gig at some point this season.
Burning Question
How good can this team be immediately?
There has yet to be a playoff appearance in the LeBron James era, and yet, expectations are through the roof after the moves new GM Danny Ferry made in the offseason. King finally has significant help, but is it fair to expect the Cavs to compete with conference heavyweights Indiana, Miami and Detroit? A lot of the pieces still have to mesh, particularly with so many new faces playing huge roles and a rookie head coach in place. It would probably be safe to assume that this will be a better team in March than it will be in November.
LeBron James' talents will eventually bring him an MVP trophy, or two, or three, etc. (Getty Images)
Team Projections
Projected finish: 3rd, Central Division
Projected win total: 45-51
Team MVP:LeBron James
Leading scorer:James
Leading rebounder:Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Leading assists:James
Top defender:Larry Hughes
Stat Rankings
Stat Rank Total
Pts Scored 17 96.5
Pts Against 11 95.7
Rebounds 17t 41.9
FG% 14 42.3
PG Damon Jones
The sharp-shooter has to improve his core point guard skills to really flourish in his new home.
SG Larry Hughes
The spotlight will finally find him this season, and you should expect him to embrace it and earn superstar status. Despite entering his eighth year, he's still only 26.
SF LeBron James
This could be the first season of many in which he seriously challenges for MVP.
PF Drew Gooden
It's going to be interesting to see if he lasts the entire season considering the rumors that the Cavs were shopping him in the offseason.
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas
He's finally kicked the foot injuries, and was rewarded with a handsome extension in the offseason.
Team Depth Chart
Player Movement
Movement Player Pos.
Key loss Jeff McInnis PG
Key gain Larry Hughes SG
Key re-signing Zydrunas Ilgauskas C
Player Movement Chart
2017-18 Team Leaders
PPGLeBron James, SF28.1
RPGKevin Love, PF10.5
APGLeBron James, SF9.1
FG%LeBron James, SF57.8
FT%Jae Crowder, PF89.5
3P%Kyle Korver, SG44.4
BLOCKSLeBron James, SF33
STEALSLeBron James, SF42
MPGLeBron James, SF37.3
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