After being the worst defensive team in the history of the league back in 2018-19 (defensive efficiency metric), Cleveland made some progress last season by being the second worst defensive team in the league! After a surprising 4-5 start of the season, Cleveland lost 14 of their following 15 games and it was quickly evident that they would be once again one of the worst teams in the league.
The Cavs were just too dependent on their young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, with neither being capable of giving the team some decent playmaking. The team even had some chemistry issues between the veteran players and the young guards as Sexton and Garland wouldn’t pass the ball.
In the middle of the season, Cleveland traded for Andre Drummond and they have now an old school frontcourt formed by Drummond and Love.
With another high draft pick, Cleveland drafted Isaac Okoro, a defensive prospect that the team badly needed in order to improve a defensive unit that has been historically bad.
J. B. Bickerstaff was the team’s interim coach last season and he is returning this season as their head coach. He should have a tough challenge ahead of him. I doubt that Sexton and Garland will ever be able to run an offense. The best move for the Cavs would be to feature a post centric offense with Love and Drummond taking off some pressure from the young guards. However, this kind of offense has been disappearing in a league that is becoming more and more guard centric.
Cleveland should absolutely dominate the boards and they will have an incentive to slow down the pace in order to be more competitive. However, given that they have one of the worst backcourts in the league, the Cavs should once again be one of the worst teams in the league.