It’s hard to argue against the Cleveland Cavaliers being the most hyped team in the NBA entering the 2015-16 season.
Despite falling just short of winning the NBA title last season to the Golden State Warriors, all the chatter has surrounded LeBron James and the Cavaliers since the NBA Finals came to a conclusion last June.
Entering the coming season, the Cavaliers are considered as the betting favorites to win the championship in 2016. Outside of James, a large reason for that is due to the fact that the team has brought back every major piece from last season, and has even added a few new pieces as Cleveland looks to avenge last year’s loss.
One can easily argue that this is the most talent-laden team in the entire league. Barring major injuries—which the team is already going through—this is a squad that can easily have its way with the competition until the NBA Finals.
Here are five bold predictions for the Cavaliers entering the 2015-16 season.
1. Kevin Love Will Thrive in His Second Season
By all accounts, Kevin Love’s first season in Cleveland was pretty underwhelming.
His stats across the board were all down, and as James and Kyrie Irving thrived as a 1-2 scoring punch, Love floundered in the background.
Entering his second season in Cleveland, the Cavaliers are not just hoping to fully maximize the power forward’s strengths—they fully intend to do so.
Following the team’s second training camp practice session on Wednesday, James outlined what his expectations are for his teammate:
“I just think he’s more comfortable in the situation that he’s in. He’s got a year under his belt; he knows what he expects out of himself and what his teammates expect out of him. I expect big things from him this year with a year up under his belt.”
The four-time MVP concluded his thoughts with the following prediction:
“He will do some of the things he did prior to last year.”
Head coach David Blatt also acknowledged that the Cavaliers figured out ways to utilize Love in better ways this summer:
“No question, this summer we looked for and identified ways that we can take advantage of Kev’s unique skill set, and hopefully we’ll see that on the floor.”
With Irving sidelined indefinitely, and starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert out for the next three months due to right wrist surgery, Love will have every opportunity to gain chemistry as the second offensive option alongside James during the beginning of the season.
Next: The Cavs Won’t Miss a Beat with Mo Williams Running the Offense