This has to be the most anticipated NBA preseason in years, from Super Teams to Lonzo Ball to LeBron flying solo, and it’s pretty clear everyone will watch the Cavs closely, given this potentially being LeBron’s final year in Cleveland.
Is this a sign the Cavs aren’t messing around? Kevin Love will start at center this season, and Tristan Thompson will move to the bench. Cleveland will start its best defensive player, Jae Crowder, at small forward. A few things to consider:
* Thompson is tight with LeBron. They are represented by the same agency. Thompson was unplayable in the Finals; he was outrebounded by Stephen Curry.
* Crowder is the most important player the Cavs acquired this offseason. He will defend Kevin Durant in the Finals, assuming Cleveland gets there. It’ll free up LeBron to play a free safety role, the way he did in the 2016 Finals.
* Derrick Rose will start at point guard until Isaiah Thomas is healthy.
Everyone is heaping praise on Sam Presti and the Thunder for an incredible offseason; what about Cleveland’s rookie GM Koby Altman? The Cavs are doing all they can to appease LeBron and hope he stays in Cleveland, and this is yet another move.
It means less strenuous defense for LeBron, who now has to shoulder a larger offensive load with Kyrie Irving gone.