Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
By now we are all ready for the games to finally just get started. We have speculated about Dion Waiters ad nauseum, and evaluated the Cavaliers off-season in just about every way imaginable. So what about the upcoming season do Fear the Sword writers think will catch us off guard?
We will start out with Angelo, who has a sad prediction for those all over who love Daniel "Boobie" Gibson: "Boobie gets bought out or traded for scraps. With CJ Miles and Dion, there's really no place for Boobie anymore. Add in the fact that he's already injured with a concussion, his abysmal season last year and yeah, I think his days as a Cav are done."
My take: Part of me just wishes Gibson could have retired after the 2007 Pistons series and rode off into the sunset.
New addition to Fear the Sword, Boosh, has a more optimistic view on a certain Israeli who drew the ire of a Cavs fan or two last season: "Omri Casspi will put together a solid season and will either be rewarded with a greater share of the minutes, or up his value enough to trade for a draft pick. Last year Omri was able to get good looks at the basket pretty consistently, but he just couldn't sink the shots. I believe that Casspi is too good of a shooter for that to be much more than a fluke or slump."
Not to be outdone on the optimism is fellow new writer, Ben Cox: "Dion Waiters' point guard ability. I think Dion will get some time at point while Kyrie sits AND at times with Kyrie on the court. Irving has the ability to knock down an open jumper, so it would make sense to let Waiters create for Kyrie every now and then."
My take: Not sure how Casspi could get much worse, and he does seem to have a knack for getting himself open. Bounce back year could definitely happen. And Ben could be spot on with the Waiters stuff, his passing is the part of his game that will translate the quickest, I think.
Patrick is an early fan of what Jon Leuer might bring to the table: " I like his skill-set, and I think he'll get solid minutes on a consistent basis under Byron Scott. We need someone who can stretch the floor while Kyrie and Dion do their thing in the lane, and Leuer fits the bill perfectly. He's just an all-around solid basketball player with stats to back up his skills, albeit in limited minutes. His defense and rebounding are somewhat suspect, but I don't think it will be too awful."
John is joining me on the Tyler Zeller bandwagon: "Tyler Zeller will outperform Dion Waiters." Love to see that optimism from John.
Conrad thinks Anderson Varejao will surprise: "The biggest surprise will be when Anderson Varejao manages to stay healthy. I'm not ready to comment on whether or not the Cavaliers decide to trade him, but I'm going to predict that he does play a full or near-full slate of games. Because I feel like being nice, I will also go ahead and predict that Varejao gets relegated to the bench at some point this year and Tyler Zeller fills in to the starting center spot."
My take: I don't necessarily disagree too strongly with any of these. If I had to guess what the biggest surprise would be it would involve Tristan Thompson, and maybe not in a good way. Samardo Samuels and Jon Leuer will keep Tristan Thompson's minutes per game around 24. Thompson's rebounding struggles on the defensive end could land him in Coach Scott's fabled doghouse for stretches this season. Samardo is in shape and, at least in preseason, has been beasting it on the boards. Tristan, for all the talk about improving offensively, has to find ways to put a body on people consistently and not get lost defensively. If Coach Scott doesn't think he is focusing, well, it could get ugly.
On that fun note, what do you guys think? Who will surprise? Who will disappoint?