Halftime Adjustments’ basketball guru Pat Glasser is optimistic about the Cavs chances to win another Conference crown. Let’s hope he’s right!
With the NBA season tipping off tomorrow against Dallas, so does the quest of the Cleveland Cavaliers to defend their Eastern Conference title. The defending conference champs have a slightly different look as the approach the start of the 2007-08 season. The biggest difference obviously, is being without 2 important pieces from last season- Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao. These two players remained unsigned, but many people think as the season starts both players will rejoin the team sooner rather than later.
It is no surprise the team will go only as far as LeBron James will take them. Entering his 5th NBA season, James has proven himself and the team has improved each year since his arrival in Cleveland. His supporting cast might not be as strong with the absence of Varejao and Pavlovic, but it is still solid. James will start with these likely starters- Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Big Z), Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. These 5 plus, Eric Snow, Donyell Marshall, Shannon Brown, Damon Jones will be the core of the 2007-08 Cavaliers team.
Most of the Eastern Conference has gotten better since last June. The Boston Celtics have added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen along side Paul Pierce to make them a favorite. The Orlando Magic signed Rashard Lewis to a huge contract to help Dwight Howard and the Magic prepare to make a run for the Eastern Conference crown. The Chicago Bulls helped themselves in the draft and their young players continue to mature. Chicago could really be a factor if they land Kobe Bryant via trade as the experts think they might. The Detroit Pistons will continue to stake their claim as the top team in the Eastern Conference, despite losing 4 straight to the Cavaliers last spring in the Conference Finals. One thing remains the same, we still have LeBron James. And though most people are picking Chicago to win the Central and possibly the East, I think Cleveland will make a run for the Division and Conference title, as they easily make the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.
As other teams have improved Cavs fans wonder why are Varejao and Pavlovic still unsigned? This is one move I agree with GM Danny Ferry on. You do not to throw 2 big money contracts to these two players after their season last year. One good season and they want the kitchen sink thrown their way. I also understand the Cavs would not have made it to the Finals without these two, but I want them to prove themselves again this year. If these two concede and become a part of this team, I anticipate the Cleveland rocking in the spring as playoff basketball starts.
Wednesday night the defense starts, we know the King is ready, but is his court ready for another run?