All of the sudden, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a fun team to watch. Oh, and they’re not a bad team either. Let’s talk Cavs here on the Broulis Report.
The last two seasons were a struggle. Then again, in the past 20 years or so, when Lebron James wasn’t on this roster, they haven’t been very good. Finally, this team is not only fun to watch, but they are playing well enough to make people think they might actually have a chance to make a playoff spot. Not a high seed like 1-5, but MAYBE as high as 6. I don’t think they can reach the 6th spot, but you never know. The East is really bad.
From the coach, to the players, it looks like this team maybe headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time without having the best basketball player in the league on their roster.
J.B. Bickerstaff has done an excellent job of getting his players to buy in. Last season before the NBA had to shut down, he preached ball movement and defense. He constantly talks about playing as a team. In a short sample size, Cleveland looked ok, then the shut down happened. Nine months of not playing basketball had to be rough.
The Cavs currently stand at 8-9 which, if the playoffs started today, would have them slotted in the 7th seed and playing Boston. As of now, I don’t see them winning a series against any team that sits in seeds 1-5. Philadelphia, Boston, Milwaukee, Indiana and the Nets all have too much talent. I think the Cavs could win one, maybe two games, but that’s it.
COLLIN SEXTON- People have wondered why I have always kept my faith in the young third year guard out of Alabama. In his first year, I saw a player that plays with passion and intensity on the court and trains the same way to get better off the court. Every year, Sexton has improved some part of his game.
Last season, Collin shot 38% from three. This season, Sexton is shooting 46% from deep. With Collin only being around 6’2, it’s very important for him to have a good outside shot. With that being said, that hasn’t stopped him from constantly wanting to attack the basket. I love how aggressive Sexton is on a nightly basis.
Some of the “experts” have done a lot of criticizing when it came to his lack of passing. In his first two seasons, I agreed with them, but I’ve always kept in mind that Sexton was only 20 when he came into the league and some things take time. Since averaging 3 assists per game the last two years, Collin is averaging 4 assists a game. Mind you, he’s not always the point guard. I’ve been very impressed with him this year. On top of being one of the fastest players in the game, he’s starting to become better at both ends of the floor. Cleveland should definitely sign him to an extension.
ANDRE DRUMMOND- The big man in the middle that Cleveland traded for last year. Drummond has had a good impact on this team. He’s brought defense and rebounding to this team. Cleveland was good in rebounding last season, but terrible on defense. Drummond really helped them in this area.
Drummonds contract expires at the end of this season. This year, the Cavs are paying him about $30 million. I read a report where Cleveland would like to sign Andre to a five-year deal worth $60 million. I don’t think Drummond would sign for that. Andre is a great talent to have, but Cleveland won’t be able to afford him if they want to keep newly acquired center Jarrett Allen.
I would prefer Cleveland to trade Drummond, get a player or two, some draft picks, whatever the combination and focus on Allen. And here’s why. For as good as Andre is, when the offense isn’t really flowing through him, he loses focus and stops playing. Allen doesn’t do that. Also, When Drummond isn’t getting calls from the ref’s that he feels are fouls, he complains a lot. I know most NBA players do this, but he does it excessively.
Allen is very young (22) and I think he may be a better fit for this team due to his ability to run the court faster. Another thing to keep in mind is that Allen is a restricted free-agent this summer and that means the Cavs can match any offer he receives from another team. That could benefit Cleveland, maybe not.
It’s nice to see this team be fun to watch again, when there is no Lebron James. I enjoyed watching James all those years, but Lebron never helped Cleveland’s front office when it came to free-agents or his contract situation like what he did with Miami and especially the Lakers.
Finally, Cleveland looks to be headed in the right direction as a whole.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis