- What will the regular season record be?
Brad: 64-18, Cavs will start a little bit slow for the first month, pulling something like a 8-5 record, but then go on a tear for the rest of the year
Chris: 65-17, I always aim to be slightly more positive than Brad.
- What will the starting lineup look like by the end of the season?
Brad: Kyrie - Harris - LeBron - Love - Varejao, I predict that Waiters will never be able to give up his ball dominating instincts, which will push him to his natural role on the bench. Harris (assuming Ray Allen isn’t brought in) will get a chance to prove that he can distribute the ball well and hit the 2-3 wide open looks he’ll get every game.
Chris: Irving-Waiters-LBJ-Love-Thompson (injuries will claim either Varejao or Irving this season. I’m praying it’s Varejao).
- Who will the team’s “6th man” be?
Brad: Dion Waiters, after getting pushed to the bench, Dion will show how well he can take over games when the big-3 is sitting and allow domination to continue throughout games.
Chris: Shawn Marion (he’s going to be their best utility player by a country mile)
- Who is your pick for the team’s MVP by season end?
Brad: Kevin Love. Love will have an opportunity to hit open shots all day, as well as establish himself as dominant in the post at times. Kyrie and LeBron will do the setting up, but Love will continue to knock just about everything down.
Chris: LeBron James. Don’t overthink shit.
- What will the team average in scoring per game?
Brad: 108.3 points. Random, arbitrary, and hopefully right on the money.
Chris: The Clippers led the league last year with a 107.9 total. The Cavs will beat that mark. I’m guessing something along the 108.5 mark.
- What will the longest winning streak be?
Brad: 13 games. Depends on the schedule, but the Cavs will probably drop a few throughout the year due to resting.
Chris: 19 games
- ...Losing streak?
Brad: 2 games
Chris: 4 games
- What will be the Cavs average scoring margin for the year?
Brad: +9.8 points. The only way that this number suffers is if the garbage time folks struggle to maintain leads, which I hope won’t be the case.
Chris: San Antonio led the league last year with +8.0. I’m guessing the Cavs will fall a bit short of that margin. Let’s go with +7.8
- Which team in the East will the Cavs struggle most with?
Brad: Bulls. I think that after some acclimation time, Rose and Gasol will give Kyrie and Love big trouble respectively. I also am skeptical of the ability for either Andy or Tristan to keep Noah in check consistently.
Chris: Washington. The Wizards interior presence will fluster the Cavs more than the Bulls wings and soft bigs (Gasol ain’t what he used to be and Noah isn’t dropping 30 on you consistently).
- ...the West?
Brad: Clippers. I think that the Cavs will have the pace to fight out San Antonio for at least a season split of the series. The Clippers have size and strength down low as well as a hall-of-fame point guard that Kyrie will struggle to keep in check. The only hope is that LeBron can keep Griffin out of the paint.
Chris: Occam’s Razor, the obvious answer is usually the correct one. San Antonio. If I need to elaborate, I will. The Spurs play at a breakneck pace, as will Cleveland. The problem is this: San Antonio has been doing it longer. Popovich’s system will likely be very similar to what David Blatt runs for Cleveland. But San Antonio has true interior defensive skills and a lockdown wing in Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers are cute but they have two offensive weapons and while Blake Griffin is improving from midrange, he’s not going to be enough to beat Irving-James-Love. The Spurs might have enough rounds left in the Parker-Ginboli-Leonard-Duncan-Splitter gun to win a shootout.
- Who will lead the team in scoring?
Brad: Love. Open 3’s all day baby.
Chris: Concur, Love.
- Who will lead the team in rebounding?
Brad: Thompson. So many garbage rebounds. I think that Love will be far enough away from the basket enough that Thompson will get most of the easy ones.
Chris: False, Love. You’re assuming Thompson starts. He won’t. You’re also assuming Love will cease being a rebound hog. He won’t. I’m betting a hefty chunk of his points come from interior put backs.
- Who will lead the team in assists?
Chris: LeBron. Irving will be asked to develop an impressive outside and slashing game, which he will. James has more effective weapons than he did a year ago. Since Irving’s entry into the league he’s never had more assists than LBJ and Irving’s best assist year (last year, with 6.1) would rank as James’ third worst assist season. James will have more assists.
- Who will have the highest PER on the team?
Brad: LeBron, hands down.
- Who will lead the team in minutes played?
Brad: Thompson. Love, Irving, and LeBron will all end up sitting for resting purposes throught the year to save for the post-season. Thompson will be getting reps with the second team to keep his minutes steady.
Chris: LBJ because that’s what he does. I think Blatt will manage minutes more effectively than Spoelstra did in Miami but James is still your leading minutes man. Especially because, and I’m sticking to my guns here, Thompson won’t be starting.
- Out of Love, LeBron, Kyrie, and Varejao who will play the fewest games?
Brad: LeBron, due to resting.
Chris: Varejao, due to injury.
- ...The most?
Brad: Love, I believe he’ll be the only one of the bunch other than LeBron to stay healthy the entire year.
Chris: LBJ because, again, that’s what he does. Come on. He’s a damn cyborg. He was sent from the future to teach us what basketball looks like in 2763.
- Will the Cavaliers make the playoffs?
Chris: Fuck off.
- How far will they make it in the post-season?
- Who will be the post-season MVP for the Cavs?
- How many total games will the Cavaliers have to play in the playoffs?
Brad: 20 (4-5-5-6)
Chris: 19 (4-4-5-6)
- What will be the top 8 teams in the East and West respectively (in order)?
1st - Cavs
2nd - Bulls
3rd - Heat
4th - Wizards (from the early Beal injury)
5th - Raptors
6th - Knicks
7th - Hornets
8th - Hawks
1st - Spurs
2nd - Clippers
3rd - Thunder
4th - Rockets
5th - Blazers
6th - Pelicans
7th - Mavericks
8th - Warriors
1st - Cavaliers
2nd - Bulls
3rd - Wizards
4th - Raptors
5th - Heat (I’m not convinced they’ll amount to shit without LBJ. Considered slating them at 6 or 7)
6th - Hornets
7th - Knicks
8th - Hawks
1st - Spurs
2nd - Clippers
3rd - Rockets
4th - Blazers
5th - Thunder (Durant’s injury derails the first half of Oklahoma City’s season)
6th - Mavericks
7th - Pelicans
8th - Suns
- What team will finish in last place in each conference?
Brad: East - Philly, West - Lakers
Chris: East-Philly; West-Utah Jazz
- Who will be the rookie of the year?
Brad: Julius Randle. If he can avoid Kobe’s wrath, will get just about every opportunity to score as much as possible.
Chris: Marcus Smart. He’ll start from the jump. He’s pro-ready. He’ll play with Rajon Rondo, one of the premier set up men in the game. His only competition will be Jabari Parker.
- Who will be the regular-season MVP?
Brad: Kevin Love
Chris: LeBron James
- Who will win the Most-Improved Player?
Brad: Gorgui Dieng. If anything from the FIBA Word Cup carries over, he will be an absolute monster this year.
Chris: When you’re right, you’re right. Dieng looks like a monster and with Love gone, he’ll get a chance to play. This dude looks like a baller.
- Who will win the 6th man award?
Brad: Nikola Mirotic. Pau will start, but won’t be able to play major minutes. I think Mirotic will pick up the lions share of time and make the most of it.
Chris: Reggie Jackson. No one could benefit from
- Who will win coach of the year?
Brad: Byron Sc…. Couldn’t do it. Blatt.
Chris: David Blatt
- ...Exec of the Year?
Brad: You can’t sign a max extension for your superstar, LeBron James, and complete a trade for Love without winning this, can you?
Chris: No. You can’t. Obvious answer: David Griffin