Let’s go back in time. You just witnessed the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Brooklyn Nets to finish the 2013-14 season 33-49 and miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The team consists of a budding star in Kyrie Irving, the eccentric Dion Waiters, the young hard-working Tristan Thompson, the seemingly uncaring Luol Deng and a bunch of Jimmys and Joes littered throughout the roster. Mike Brown returned for his second stint with the Cavs to foster a season that ended up falling below expectations. The lone hope is the 2014 NBA Draft, where fans hope to get one of the top picks in the draft. Not a great time to be a Cavs fan.
Now tell your 2014 self that for the 2017-18 season, the Cavaliers are entering the season with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Jeff Green, Isaiah Thomas, JR Smith and the rest of the almost unbelievable cavalcade of players. Oh and Kyrie Irving is the star of the Boston Celtics. That 2014 self would tell you to get your head examined because why the heck would James and Wade leave the comfort of Miami, where they have won back-to-back championships. Also, why would the Chicago Bulls give up on the talented Derrick Rose after they have patiently dealt and invested in him through his injury rehab over the past couple years? And, why would the Cavs every trade Irving to the Celtics? The questions would be unending. Your 2014 self would not believe you. Guess what, believe it.
I am more excited for the 2017-18 Cavaliers season than I was for the 2016-17 season coming off of the city’s first championship since 1964. Last season, the regular season was a fait accompli. The team returned pretty much the same roster as the championship team and did not have a lot of questions for the season. This season is the opposite. The Cavs added nine new players to the 15-man roster. Nine. The Cavs season opener starting lineup will feature Wade, Crowder and Rose, three players who were on three different teams just last season. With all of this change, it brings intrigue, questions, excitement and the unknown, making the season one to really watch.
The star power on the Cavs is ridiculous. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas and Kevin Love have all one time or another been the main man on a team with the entire offense going through them. The Cavs have all of them on its roster for this coming season. The attention the team will get will not just be from Cavs fans, but from NBA fans all over the world because of the star power the team possesses.
What makes the regular season so intriguing and exciting are the questions that need to be answered. Without Irving, will Love be featured more in the offense? Can Rose have a resurgence and return close to his MVP form? Can Wade and James replicate their Miami success? When will Thomas be ready and what shape and form will he be in when he is ready to take the court? How does Tyronn Lue handle the deep depth the team has without upsetting some players or hurting the overall continuity of the play on the court? These are just some of the big questions entering the regular season. Last year at this time, the only question was, is it June yet?
The Cavs will face some obvious challenges during the regular season, but I think that is what will make the season entertaining and exciting throughout the 82 games. We will get to see all these questions answered. We will see a team will a lot of depth and new players who will continue to develop and get more comfortable with each other. There are so many things to watch during the entire regular season.
So Cavs fans, we do not need to wait till June to get some excitement. The excitement begins on Tuesday and should last throughout the entire season with some expected ups and downs. Enjoy the process this time around. Oh and it begins on Tuesday against Kyrie Irving.