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Cavs Off To Up and Down Start

Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 11/5/2013

To anybody who has followed the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last several years, it's clear this season's squad is the most talented since the departure of LeBron James in 2010. But the NBA's second youngest team is still figuring things out, like most teams, in the opening weeks of the season.

Third year All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is off to an interesting start, scoring just over 15 points per game, well below the 22.5 he averaged last year and even a significant drop from his rookie season (18.5 ppg). Irving is however averaging career-highs in both rebounds (5.5 rpg) and assists (6.8 apg), but is also turning it over more than his first two seasons (3.8 pg).

Meanwhile fellow third year veteran Tristan Thompson is off to a great start, averaging a career-high 13.3 ppg and nearly 9 rpg. Second year player Dion Waiters, who the team drafted 4th overall in 2012, is struggling with just 9.5 ppg on 33% shooting, 1.8 rpg and 1.0 apg, all well below his marks as a rookie.

But to say the Cavs top pick from this season is struggling early on would be a vast understatement. Number one overall selection Anthony Bennett has not scored a field goal in four games, missing all 15 shots from the field, including eight 3-pointers. He's just the fifth rookie since 1985 to begin his career by not scoring a basket in the first four games, but none of the previous four were picked ahead of every other player in the draft.

The good news for Cleveland thus far is that Anderson Varejao appears to have fully recovered from a blood clot that kept him out the second half of last season and is contributing nearly 10 points and 7 rebounds per game. Free agent acquisition Andrew Bynum, who missed all of last year with a pair of bum knees, also looks to be on the right track, averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds in just over 12 minutes per game.

The even better news is that the Cavaliers are just a week into their season and have a very long way to go before any of this really matters. Cleveland also boasts a pair of wins over Brooklyn and Minnesota, who will both likely be in the postseason.

The Cavs will be on the road for four of their next five beginning Wednesday in Milwaukee, but will only face one team that competed in last season's playoffs (Chicago) over their next nine. That stretch should however, give fans a better look at what the team will be capable of moving forward. But with 78-games still remaining on the schedule, let's reserve judgement. At least til after their next game.

   
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