clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESPN predicts Cleveland Cavaliers as Eastern Conference champions

New, comments

Well this is nice.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

We've been highlighting ESPN's panel of 210 experts who made predictions on this upcoming season. This one might be the best yet.

This isn't completely surprising. The panel took into account the likely proposition that the Cavaliers acquire Kevin Love. Given the addition of LeBron James, and the way Kyrie Irving has looked so far for Team USA, it makes a lot of sense to consider the Cavaliers the favorites.

And that's before you consider that the Cavaliers also employ Anderson Varejao, Mike Miller, and Shawn Marion.

And that's before you consider moderate improvement from Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. Quite simply, the Cavs are going to be really good. They have depth up and down the lineup, though it's likely they are still in the market for a center.

Still, Cleveland won 33 games last season, has a bunch of new faces up and down the roster, has a rookie head coach, a rookie general manager, and a whole lot of expectations. The Chicago Bulls, with or without Derrick Rose, are going to be good. Pau Gasol still has a bit in the tank, Nikola Mirotic has skill, and the team defends. I think the Cavaliers are the clear favorites, maybe even the easy favorites, to come out of the East, but surprising things tends to happen.

In the meantime, its fair to be increasingly optimistic. This summer has been fantastic, and the NBA is on notice.