So the Cleveland Cavaliers have went through a total roster make over, Isaiah Thomas,Jae Crowder,Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose did not turn out to be the gap closing additions to compensate for the loss of Kyrie Irving but the Cleveland Cavaliers are still title contenders. They have added more youth and athleticism with the additions of Jordan Clarkson,Larry Nance Jr, and Rodney Hood and they still have the best player in the game in Lebron James and a perennial All-Star in Kevin Love who is nursing a hand injury at the moment.
Kevin Love is a do it all power forward who can stretch the floor and be a force on the boards, ever since he has arrived in Cleveland he has been the punching bag when it comes to placing blame for the team’s struggles but I think we might finally see why the Cleveland Cavaliers gave Kevin Love a 5 year contract. For the most part Kevin Love has been a 3rd option in Cleveland but now he is the clear cut 2nd option with this new roster. I also wonder why would Lebron James even consider leaving Cleveland with Kevin Love still locked in for another 2 seasons, he won’t be a free agent until he is 31 so the chances he produces at an all-star level are still very high.
So far from the looks of it this Cleveland Cavalier roster clearly lacks a go to option beyond Lebron James and that is where Kevin Love will slot in perfectly once he gets back from his hand injury. He is supposedly ahead of schedule so he might get a couple regular season games in before the Cavaliers go into the playoffs where they will look to win the 2018 NBA title which will more then likely result in keeping Lebron James in a Cleveland Cavalier uniform for the remainder of his career. Looking at the title contenders you have Golden State,Houston, and San Antonio(assuming Kawhi Leonard is ready to go,Oklahoma City, and Boston and Toronto as huge sleepers. I am not being bias what so ever but why can’t Cleveland compete with all those teams with a combo of Lebron James and Kevin Love?
We seem to forget Lebron James is still the best player in the league and quite frankly that is hands down, a lot of NBA fans are quick to start crowning Kevin Durant the best but his life is a lot easier playing alongside the 2 best 3 point shooters in the game in Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry who make his life a whole lot easier. Kevin Durant is certainly a top 5 player but Lebron James remains in a league of his own, no current NBA superstar boast his basketball IQ and collection of all-around talent at the moment. He is accompanied by Kevin Love who is in my opinion still a top 5 power forward in the NBA and he has a whole lot of shooters to work with(Love,JR,Korver,Hood,Clarkson,Hill,Green), that is all Lebron needs. You give Lebron shooters to spread the floor for him and their is no way you can count him out in a series no matter who is on the other side.
They have a pretty solid bench which will more then likely be Rodney Hood,Jordan Clarkson,Larry Nance Jr,Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver come playoff time. Inexperience might be a factor being that most of those guys are relatively young but Lebron James,Kevin Love,Tristan Thompson,JR Smith,George Hill,and Kyle Korver have plenty of playoff experience so that won’t necessarily be a weakness. Compare their bench to Golden State and Houston’s bench and you can make a case the Cavaliers have a better bench. The objective is to get all the new faces on the right page for the remainder of the season and make sure Kevin Love is ready to go before the playoffs and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be lethal, anyone who believes Lebron James is coming into the 2018 NBA Playoffs with a defeated mentality is seriously kidding themselves.
2018 NBA free agency is months away, yes it is entertaining to think about where Lebron James will land this summer but who’s to say he would actually leave? Why would he? He is playing for an organization and a fan-base which absolutely loves him, Koby Altman has had great communication with him up until now and restructured the roster to give the Cavaliers new life. Dan Gilbert and Lebron James’s relationship is nothing to brag about but business is business. If Dan Gilbert wants to keep the revenue coming in, losing what might be the greatest player of all-time is not a good way of thinking. The Cavaliers have a top 10 pick also and Lebron James is fond of Trae Young, imagine the Cavaliers win the NBA title and draft Trae Young to learn under George Hill for a couple of years? Lebron James would be foolish to leave Cleveland, this current roster can win the title this season and compete for more until Lebron decides to call it a career.
To conclude I understand the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are the creme of the crop and are clear cut favorites but there is absolutely no way I am counting out a Lebron James’s led roster in a series. In my honest opinion he is the greatest player I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes, yes better then Michael Jordan. Lebron James’s effect on a basketball game is surreal and with his NBA playoff experience you can’t count him out, he already knows how the high powered Warriors are coming if he does have to face them in the Finals. I am sure he knows neutralizing Kevin Durant is part of the plan and I have no doubt in my mind he can key in on that and make Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson try and beat him. George Hill is no Gary Payton on defense but I’d like to think he can run around and chase Curry for a whole series and make matters tough for him being that is a more athletic guard and has a 7’0 wingspan. As for the Rockets if you can contain Harden and make him work on the defensive end, Chris Paul will have to beat you and no disrespect but beyond Harden the Rockets do not boast anyone who jumps out at you so we will just have to wait and see but don’t sleep on the Cleveland Cavaliers.