The gang is back and there is unfinished business.
The NBA’s 2015-2016 season begins tonight, Tuesday, October 27 and the Cleveland Cavaliers face former Eastern Conference semifinals opponent, the Chicago Bulls. LeBron James and company are primed to bring home their first Larry O’Brien trophy.
Last season was looked at as a success by LeBron James as he mentioned he never thought a young team such as the Cavs could reach the NBA Finals. Finishing last season with a 53-29 record was huge as the Cavaliers finished second in the Eastern Conference and ultimately making the Finals, but falling short to NBA MVP Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors.
This season, however, will be different. Don’t expect to see James in every game. We saw LeBron’s age catching up to him last season, He has already had numerous injections in his lower back and has gone through many precautionary procedures just to make sure he can be healthy for this upcoming season. LeBron is not caught up in the regular season, though. He’s has his eyes set on a deep playoff run, potentially a sixth in as many years.
Depth is one thing that caught up to our Cavaliers last season. With All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love out for the majority of the playoffs and Finals, Cleveland’s depth was tested; and it failed. Role players like Tristan Thompson (now an $82 million dollar man) and Matthew Dellavedova had to step into the starting lineup and spotlight. While it worked in games 2 and 3 of the Championship Round, a tired and depleted roster of only eight contributing players was not enough. The Cavaliers retained those eight and added role players such as Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson, arguably James’ best backup of his career. Williams’ lone All-Star appearance came as a member of the Cavs in 2009. With depth having now been addressed, health will take care of itself.
Mark this down now: You will see the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals come June. Having three All-Stars in the starting lineup, and a former one coming off the bench, will be key to that. Having one of the best starting fives in the NBA and more depth than anyone expected going into the year, the Cavaliers are in better shape than they ever have been to win their first NBA Finals.
With all of this being said, gear up Cleveland and buy your merchandise. There will be a parade down East 9th this year as the Cleveland Cavaliers will be crowned as your 2016 NBA champions.