This is a hard division to diagnose. But I believe of all the possible letdowns in the Central, the Cavaliers are most likely to disappoint.
That’s not saying much, because it’s the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ve been disappointing ever since LeBron left in 2018. Having to watch Cleveland play is like ordering something from a fast-food restaurant, then getting all the way home and realizing they made your order wrong. Over and over and over again.
The team has some talent. Collin Sexton is coming off a year where he averaged 24 points per game. Darius Garland averaged 17 points and six assists when he was healthy. And they have Jarrett Allen who has become a dominant defensive force in the paint averaging 1.5 blocks per game. Not to mention, the addition of Evan Mobley in the draft will add some size, athleticism, and versatility to their front line if he can produce in his rookie season.
It’s time for this team to start taking some next steps and inching closer to becoming a playoff team. They should be competing with teams like Charlotte, Indiana, and Washington for those final play-in spots. Now, will they? I don’t think so, which is why they are going to be the biggest disappointment out of this division.
They’ll be better than Detroit, which doesn’t have any real pieces outside of the young talent of Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey. Indiana will cause problems for the Cavaliers because of Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and Caris LeVert when healthy. Obviously, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the revamped Chicago Bulls squad with Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan will be more out of Cleveland’s league than Mariah Carey was for Nick Cannon.
Many are projecting the Bulls to be, like, a 5th or 6th seed in the East this season, and I believe with the talent that they have at the guard position they’ll be able to reach that. The Bucks can do no wrong after winning a title in Milwaukee for the first time in 50 years. They could have the third seed in the East and only make it to the 2nd round and there would be no pressure on them. Indiana is expected to be slightly above average again, especially with Rick Carlisle as their new head coach. And as we know, Detroit is going to be poo this season.
The Cavaliers are a team that will be asked to take that next leap this season and will probably fall flat on its face again.