MERRY CAVSMAS. The 2013-14 NBA season is officially upon us! Where we get to dream of Dion Waiters cramming on fools, Kyrie crossing people literally off their feet and Varejao and Thompson grabbing boards. So what does this NBA season hold in store for the Cavaliers? Our infallible writers weighed in:
1. Who will have the biggest breakout season for the Cavaliers?
Mourt: Dion Waiters. I know everyone else is gonna answer with Tristan here, but I think there are a lot of things (more talent around him, less ball handling, better defense = more transition buckets) going his way.
Patrick: The easiest answer to this is Tristan Thompson, so the hipster in me wants to pick someone else just to be different. But I can't. Tristan Thompson is going to set the world on fire and use it to light his victory cigar, which he won't smoke because he's too conscious about the effect it will have on his body, and subsequently his ability to destroy people on the court. The tables have turned in the relationship between he and Anderson Varejao while on the court, except now TT's an improved enough passer that they won't just be taking turns. Tristan will solidify himself as the second best player on the Cavs going into the future, barring a full recovery from Andrew Bynum.
Sam: The obvious breakout candidate is Tristan Thompson here, right? He completely overhauled his offensive game during the offseason, plus maintained his awkward jump hook/floater game. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw him go something like 14-11 per-36 this season with much better shooting percentages.
Boosh: I think it would be hard to pick anyone other than Tristan for this one. I really want to say Dion, but I think based on what we’ve seen from Tristan over the summer that he’ll evolve into a starting caliber player for a good team. Also, the relatively low expectations put on him by the national media should make his emergence that much more noticeable. Hopefully, I’ll be able to say Dion next year.
Justin: My pick is definitely Dion. If this award was like the leagues MIP and was given out a year later I'd say Tristan. While a more efficient offensive version of Tristan is fantastic, he isn't going to have a lot of plays drawn out for him. Simply put Dion has farther to go. If he responds to Mike Brown's challenge to be a great defender and improves his shot selection, he's going to be a devastating force for the Cavaliers.
David: Let's say Andrew Bynum. He has established himself in the league, but clearly needs to do so again. I hear people talk like he has been out of the league for as long as Greg Oden has been. He has missed one season. Derrick Rose missed one season. The injuries and situations aren't comparable, but if Bynum plays 50 games that will open a lot of eyes around the league.
Conrad: There's so many directions you can go with this question, but I'll be different and say Kyrie Irving. We know that he's a stud, but is he the super duper star that you really build your franchise around? We've seen him dominate while the Cavs were losing a lot of games, but this year we're gonna see him lead the Cavs to the playoffs and put up his usual spectacular numbers. Oh, and I hear he might play defense this season! Exciting!
2. How many games will the Cavaliers win this season?
Mourt: 48, injuries be damned
Patrick: Even though I'm very optimistic about this year's Cavs team, I can't quite bring myself to predict 50 wins. I think it's entirely possible, but so much has to go right for it to happen. I'll go with 44 wins and a relatively comfortable playoff berth on the backs of Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum playing a combined 82 games between them.
Sam: I think the Cavs go 43-39, and end up in the 7th seed this season. This team has potential to be better than that, and could miss the playoffs with a losing record. It basically depends on how many games Andrew Bynum, Anderson Varejao, and Kyrie Irving play this season.
Boosh: There are so many factors at play here, but I think somewhere around 40 wins is a safe prediction. If everyone stays healthy, and Bynum returns to form (a blogger can dream, can’t he?), I think the team could rack up quite a few more notches in the win column.
Justin: 44, Andy plays 70+ games, Bynum plays himself into shape for the playoffs after a mid season setback.
David: 43. 6th or 7th seed.
Conrad: My initial prediction was 42-40, but I'm bumping that up because OPENING NIGHT OPTIMISM. It really sounds like Andrew Bynum will contribute at some point in the near future (oh god, I hope nobody saves this for April when we're on Andrew Bynum health update: part 30249) and that makes me predict that the Cavs finish 45-37.
3. BOLD Prediction for this year?
Mourt: The Cavs have two All-Stars, coming from Kyrie and Thompson/Varejao/Bynum
Patrick: My bold prediction is that Tristan Thompson will be given serious consideration for an All Star spot amongst NBA bloggers. The Cavs are going to be a popular League Pass team, and combine that with the publicity of his hand-switch and my prediction that he will have great success with it, you have the makings for a bonifide dark horse All Star candidate.
Sam: My bold prediction is that Bynum plays 60 games this year. I just have a good feeling about it, despite Liberty Ballers’ Mike Levin’s best protestations that I shouldn’t.
Boosh: Andrew Bynum comes back to form and rains totally unnecessary threes down upon his unsuspecting foes.
Justin: If this team is healthy and meets the Miami Heat in the playoffs, they will upset the defending champs.
David: There will be an ongoing controversy over whether Dion Waiters or Jarrett Jack should be on the court at the end of games. Maybe all three can play together but my guess is that Mike Brown is hesitant to do that early on.
Conrad: Anderson Varejao will stay healthy and play 65+ games. I miss Andy so much.
4. Video or .gif that you believe will describe this season?
Queen - 'We Are The Champions' (via queenofficial)
Patrick: Now that the NBA is back, there are just so many activities to fill my time!
Sam: Sam didn't submit a gif. So here's Dion Waiters being awesome:
Drake - Started From The Bottom (Explicit) (via DrakeVEVO)
5. Video or .gif that gets you pumped up for this season?
Mourt: [J Row special note... I'm sorry guys]
Right Said Fred - I`m Too Sexy (The Original) (via VidZone)
Sam: The intro video from last year is just so fantastic. It’s so good that Machine Gun Kelly got to come to the draft lottery last season. Just think about that for a second.
Justin: The Cavaliers will be back in the playoffs this year, all you need to do is get in and you never know what could happen. I remember always getting so pumped seeing the crowd in Cleveland go nuts in the playoffs. This video captures just how great this crowd can be, and also serves as a reminder that any team can overachieve. Forget logic, let's get pumped up.
Man that team was terrible.....
David: You guys all pretty much know this is my favorite. Cold-blooded and against Kenny's favorite team:
Patrick: For my music/video selection I have chosen the song 'Awaken' by Yes. Partly because I don't get enough opportunities to shove Yes down everyone's throats, but..... well okay, it's mostly for that. But I also think that this is the year the Cavs awaken as a force in the NBA. It's the year Kyrie awakens his defensive abilities and the world awakens to how great he is. Tristan Thompson, with the switching of his shooting hand, will awaken as a player and finally cast off the yoke of ill-informed people calling him a bust. Chris Grant's "close guarded plan, awaken in our hearts."
Awaken - Yes [HQ Sound] (via Kenneth O'Rourke)