Will Cleveland Make the Playoffs?

Ah, Cleveland. Unfortunately your hometown star has headed west, and many people are forecasting that you will drop back into obscurity.

But is all really lost? I really don’t think so. There are a lot of things that could keep Cleveland on the map this year. Here are the important factors that will determine the Cavaliers playoff chances this year.

Keeping the Roster Intact

Obviously LeBron is the best player on the planet, but that doesn’t mean everyone else on the Cavs roster is dog meat. These gym shoes are made for playing, after all! There are some very high-quality players, and if they remain together they could definitely make a run for the playoffs.

Kevin Love provided some eye-opening play when he was healthy last year. He saved some games for the team, no doubt about it. George Hill is another veteran who has what it takes to get things done, and he provides a strong defense at the point.

Kyle Korver is an excellent shooter that can rain threes when the team needs it most. J.R. Smith, despite his "oopsie" in the finals, is also a great shooter and an asset to the team.

If the Cavs keep this team together, they have a chance to gel into something respectable.

Forgetting About the Draft

One problem with many teams is that they are so focused on the future that they forget to win in the present. Some say that the protected draft pick that the Cavs gave the Hawks for Korver two years ago will give the team incentive to finish low – that way they get a top-10 pick.

That’s a losing mentality. Forget about the draft and its giant question marks – and possible busts – and focus on the great tools you have now.

In the same category as forgetting about the draft is forgetting about "getting good value" for Kevin Love. Again, he’s high-quality – keep him and go for it, rather than getting rid of him for the unknown.

A Weak Eastern Conference

Guess what Cavs? Almost every great player and power team is in the West. That means that the path to the playoffs in the East is wide open, giving the Cavs a good chance.

The top eight teams in the East will make the playoffs, and there are only a few "lock" teams for those slots. The Raptors, Pacers, Celtics, and Sixers will be the top of the conference. That leave four slots wide open – and the Cavs are pretty likely to grab one unless they tank on purpose.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that if they are on the bottom of the pack, they will be playing one of the top four in Round 1. They don’t stand a chance against any of those four teams unless a significant opposing player is hurt.

Chances Are Good For the Playoffs

Cleveland isn’t going to set the world on fire this season – nor is any other team in the East, frankly. There will be some exciting games this year, but the Western Conference Finals will basically be the championship series.

Still, there’s a lot of reason to believe the Cavs can make the playoffs if they don’t choose to blow the team up on purpose.

C’mon Cleveland – keep your head on straight and make the best of what you have now. The Browns have had multiple top picks and gotten nowhere. Learn the lesson.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword