Vegas thinks the Cavs are the favorite to win the title this year? Are you kidding me? Sure, the Cavs are not the worst team in the league, but to pick them is just a sign of them bowing down to LeBron. If you are in Vegas, you should Learn how to get started on NBA betting that is looking forward to the slate of season-ending games tonight.
The Cavs have a ways to go. They get stuck into hero ball a lot! Kyrie Irving and LeBron James are amazing, but the Cavs do not play with the same cohesiveness as the Atlanta Hawks. The additions of Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith were huge in building the Cavs depth, but the ball doesn't consistently move from side to side.
This is magnified against strong defensive teams. In the second round, it is likely the Cavs will face the Chicago Bulls. Chicago can play defense! They check you closely, on the interior and perimeter. When Chicago makes it hard for Irving and James to score, where will the Cavs go?
J.R. Smith? Kevin Love? Timofey Mozgov? J.R. Smith is a streaky shooter when defended at best. While he can get real hot, the chances of him carrying them to wins is slim. He's a great role player though. Kevin Love is awesome and can be THE guy on a bad team. On this team, a team that's contending, he's your best role player. He's a glorified, overpaid and unfortunately underutilized stretch four (he can do more, but the ball can only be in one persons hands at a time!). It'd be great if the Cleveland Cavs threw it to him in the post more in the first quarter to establish his post game. Rarely happens though!
Timofey Mozgov is a serviceable big man. He can defend and rebound well, he's big and can pick up the scraps offensively (he also shot a great 71.8% from the free throw line during the regular season). Picking up the scraps is awesome and every team needs a player like that, but that's what Mozgov's capable of. Not much more!
If James, Irving, or even Love get doubled, that is an angle Cleveland exploits well. Open three's from guys like James Jones, J.R. Smith and sometimes Kevin Love will keep double teams sparse. There will be that night or, hopefully not, nights in series that those three balls will not go down though! That's where tougher teams like the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks will steal games against Cleveland (in Cleveland).
To go far in the playoffs the three's will HAVE to be timely and consistently falling. Mike Miller, a veteran and playoff performer, could be an unsung hero for the Cleveland Cavs. If he comes in and works his magic in just one to three games, that could gives the Cavs the edge they need.
ESPN put out the article about the 9-4 odds in Cleveland's favor. While Vegas has spoken, the ball won't lie at the end of the day. Ball movement and more balanced teams will prevail!