Any success the Cleveland Cavaliers experience in the 2019-2020 season will be entirely dependent on a few, but important factors.
There is no getting around it. The 2018-2019 season for the Cleveland Cavaliers was a disaster. With injures, trades and coach turnover, the team was not going to be successful. Hopefully, there will be enough change in and things will improve for the wine and gold in 2019-2020.
Kevin Love’s status on the roster
This is no beating around the bush here. The future of Kevin Love with the Cleveland Cavaliers has been in question since he signed his contract extension prior to last season. Most predicted a Blake Griffin-esque trade to another team, instead he remained on the team during the season and through the summer. Kevin Love’s presence on the roster will certainly help his teammates if he remains in Cleveland.
The health of Kevin Love
Kevin Love’s injury just a few games into last season put the Cavaliers in a pretty bad spot rather quickly. Tyronn Lue was fired and the team was torn down almost immediately. Only a few veterans that began the season with the team remained. It was obvious last season that the team is completely different with a healthy Kevin Love. This will also apply to this season. A healthy Kevin Love makes it a little bit easier for everyone else on the floor.
How the backrourt meshes
As of now, the Cleveland Cavaliers backcourt is pretty crowded and has some similar players. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Knight all figure to see minutes this season. Sexton and Garland are the projected starters as of now. The hope with this duo is to replicate what Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have in Portland. Even if they are 60% of that it has to be considered a win.
Jordan Clarkson will be the Cavs sixth man this season. Clarkson is quite capable of putting up points in a hurry with his off the bench role. The Cavaliers may have found a key component to this team when they acquired Clarkson from the Lakers in early 2018.
Brandon Knight should see some time as a rational guard. Knight has bounced around the league since he was drafted by Detroit but seemed to settle in a bit during his 27 games with the Cavaliers last season. Knight is not necessarily an important cog in Cleveland’s rotation, but it he is able to build upon last season that is a huge plus for a team that struggled to score quite often.
John Beilein implementing his system and how the players respond
John Beilein was a head coach in college for a long time. Sometimes a longtime college coach struggles adapting to the NBA game. Beilein clearly has a system he wants to implement that those in charge appear to buy into at this moment. Beilein has experienced a ton of success with younger players at the college level. This could be why Cleveland decided that he was the best fit for the team with all of the young players on the roster. Getting the younger players to buy in may not be all that difficult. Beilein’s ability to connect with the veterans on the team and have them buy in as well will be a huge factor. If John Beilein is not able to see eye to eye with the veterans it could be a massive problem.