Cleveland Cavaliers: 5-2
Who’d you expect?
LeBron James’ Cavaliers could fight to jell offensively, and they might not have the personnel to construct an elite defense in any way. Neither of these issues stopped them from getting the NBA’s best title odds–mainly since a long season will give new head coach David Blatt lots of time to work out the kinks.
And if he can not figure out everything, he’s still got the best player on the planet on his group. That alone is enough to justify Cleveland’s area here.
There’s reason to think the Cavs will hit the ground running on offense, and not just as they have such an absurdly gifted core. The truth is we’ve seen these guys can be during preseason play.
James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters all tried at least three triples per game during exhibition period, and four connected on 41 percent of those shots. James, since he is not human, made just 50 percent.
You might think it’s impossible for all four of these players to sustain this type of high collective percentage, but in a crime where double-teaming anyone–or even helping a smidgen too harshly –contributes to wide-open opportunities to get another scoring dynamo, nicely. . .let’s just say the potential for league-leading crime is there.
Irving was a preseason lightning bolt, with all defenders’ hesitation to leave their assignments to dart into the lane whenever he desired. Drive-and-kick opportunities were endless, and they’ll continue to be–unless the league allows opponents to utilize six players from Cleveland.
Actually, even then…
Injuries, the slog of an 82-game season and several other uncertainties mean there are no sure things in the NBA.
However, the Cavs come close.