CLEVELAND- The Cavaliers have a trio of their own now. Three time all-star Kevin Love was just traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a the Cavs 2015 first round pick. It was reported earlier that an agreement was made in principal. The Philadelphia 76ers were part of the trade as they will send Thaddeus Young to the Timberwolves. Philadelphia received Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbaha A Moute and a 2015 first round pick.
There was disagreement among fans and reporters as to which team is the favorite in the Eastern Conference. This should truly end the debate. The Bulls will still challenge the Cavaliers as they have a good trio of their won with Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, who is now 100% healthy.
Cavs projected lineup and points per game for each player from last year
Center; Anderson Varajao-8.4 PPG
Power Forward: Kevin Love- 26.1 PPG
Small Forward: LeBron James- 27.1 PPG
Point Guard: Kyrie Irving-20.8 PPG
Shooting Guard: Dion Waiters- 15.9 PPG
Combined PPG of projected starting lineup-98.3
The Bulls have to contend with a starting lineup that can account for 98.3 points a game on their own. However, let’s toss in a few bench players that come to mind. Shawn Marion scored 10.4 points per game last season. James Jones won’t chip in nearly as much as he averaged 4.8 points per game. Mike Miller averaged 7.1 points per game.
There is some history that proves stars can expect some drop-off in points per game when joining teams with other stars. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat proved this. However, the Cavs are a position they have never been in before. They can overpower other teams with their starting lineup comprised of the best trio since the James led Miami Heat with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
How will the Cavs use their new offense
The Cavs are now the team of destiny. They replaced the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls as the dominant power in the Eastern Conference. the scary part is how the Cavs will manage to overpower teams. James dominates the left side of the court while Love torches opposing defenses from the right side of the court. Cleveland can now mix things up and therefore confuse defenses. When James and Love dominate their sides of the court, that will allow Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to decimate defenses from the perimeter meaning the Cavs could conceivably be the best three point shooting team in the NBA without a second team even being close. James is also a sharpshooter from beyond the arc and Love will get plenty of chances to do the same. This will also allow Varajao to concentrate on getting low post opportunities to score. There will also be a lot of fast break opportunities for the Cavs as they have a lot of speed and Love can pass the ball from one end of the court to the other in less than 2 seconds.
This is when the old cliché “pick your poison” comes into play. The Cavs will force other teams to pick their poison. Giving up Wiggins was a tough choice but this is a huge win for the relatively inexperienced General Manager David Griffin. It’s a bigger victory for Cavs fans and the city of Cleveland.
Will Cleveland shake off their image as “The mistake by the lake”?