Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cavs Corner - Schedule Breakdown

The Cavs exercised the 3rd year options of sophomore teammates Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson...I GET BUCKETS!
With one week until the regular season starts, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 3-3 through the preseason with 1 final tune up this coming Tuesday night vs. Indiana.  Then on Halloween Eve, the Cavs kick off the 82 game grind here at the Q taking on the John Wall-less Washington Wizards.  Gainer is here to break down how the schedule is going to treat the Cavs and where I think they'll end up finishing.  With 17 players still on the roster, they still have to make two cuts to get to fifteen.  It will come down to Coach Scott and the front office deciding on whether to keep three point guards on the roster or not.  If they keep both Donald Sloan and Jeremy Pargo, all roster spots will be filled.  If not, 1 spot will be left open for either 7 foot center Michael Eric or PF Kevin Jones.  I honestly don't know which way the Cavs are leaning on this one but if I had to put money on it, I would say they end up keeping both PG's.


The NBA schedule makers did not cut this young Cavalier squad any early breaks!  With just a two game homestand to kick off the season, the Cavs immediately head out for 6 straight road games including a 4 game Western Conference trip.  Of the 16 games played here, only 5 are at home!  Making it worse, 10 of them were playoff teams last season including the two squads that played for it all in June.

Division games: 2; Remaining East games: 7

Must win games:  Washington, Milwaukee, Golden State, Phoenix x2, Orlando
Possible wins: Chicago, Brooklyn, Philly x1, Dallas, Atlanta
Chalk it up to a loss:  Clippers, OKC, Philly x1, Miami, Memphis

Best Case Scenario:  The Cavs gel immediately, use their youth to to wear out teams and go 11-5
Worst Case Scenario:  They just get overwhelmed right out of the gate and only win less than 5 games
Most Likely:  8 wins including opening night, at Bucks, and a couple of roadies.  Win the East games!


16 more games this month at an even eight home and away.  Again, nothing longer than a two game homestand but also no more than a two game road trip.  This includes not having to travel further than the central time zone.  Also, the Bulls game is on ESPN, ahhhh yes! National TV the one time all season!

Division Games:  7; Remaining East Games: 6 

Must wins:  Detroit x1, Milwaukee x1, Indiana x1, Portland, Toronto, Washington
Possible wins:  Detroit x1, Milwaukee x1, Indiana x1, Chicago, Minnesota, N.Y., Atlanta, Brooklyn
Chalk it up to a loss:  LA Lakers, Boston

Best Case:  10-6 (5-2 in the Central)
Worst Case:  5-11 (2-5 in the Central)
Most Likely:  8-8 (go 4-3 in the Central)


Only 14 games this month but eight games on the road including a FIVE game trip out west again!  It seems to me the Cavs better become an immediate veteran squad with these road weary legs.  Eight of these are against the West, so while each game is important, it's okay to suffer a lapse here.

Division Games: 2; Remaining East games: 4 games

Must wins:  Charlotte, Houston, Sacramento, Milwaukee/Chicago, Toronto, Golden State, Portland
Possible wins:  Milwaukee/Chicago, Atlanta
Chalk it us as a loss:  Denver, LA Lakers, Utah, Boston

Best Case:  9-5
Worst Case:  5-9
Most Likely: 8-6 (yes, this is the month with the most winnable games overall)


FINALLY!  Only 12 games this month and only 4 on the road.  This includes a seven game homestand (interrupted by the 2013 All Star Game weekend).  Let's hope we can add a guy or two to the festivities beside Uncle Drew!

Division Games:  2; Remaining East games:  5

Must win games:  Detroit, Charlotte, Orlando x1, New Orleans, Toronto
Possible wins:  Orlando x1, Minnesota, Chicago (D. Rose figures to be healthy by this point)
Chalk it up for a loss:  OKC, Denver, San Antonio, Miami

Best case:  7-5
Worst case:  4-8
Most Likely:  6-6 (I'm a sell out but this team is honestly a bubble .500 team)


Along with the final game of February, the Cavs start March with a five game homestand.  It's another normal 14 game month with the normal 1-2 homestands or road trips.  This will also be the month post trade deadline so look for the likes of Luke Walton to be traded.  If the season goes sour, look for Boobie Gibson and Andy Varejao to also be traded as they continue to rebuild.

Division Games:  1; Remaining East games:  6 games

Must win games:  Toronto, Washington, New Orleans
Possible wins:  N.Y., Dallas, Indiana, Houston, Utah, Philadelphia
Chalk it up for a loss:  LA Clippers, Memphis, San Antonio, Miami, Boston

Best case:  7-7
Worst Case:  4-10
Most Likely:  6-8 (arguably the toughest month and balances out January)


The final month of the season finishes halfway through and features 10 games in 17 days.  Nothing crazy here in terms of schedule and traveling.  Only Eastern Conference teams are featured and will go a long way towards the Cavs push towards the #8 seed.

Division games:  2; Remaining East games:  8

Must wins:  Orlando, Detroit, Charlotte
Possible wins:  Atlanta, Brooklyn, Indiana, N.Y.
Chalk it up to a loss:  Boston, Miami, Philadephia

Best case:  6-4
Worst case:  3-7
Most Likely:  5-5 bwahahaha


If you can do math, you'll notice I have the Cavs going 41-41 over the course of the 2012-13 season.  Based on last year's standings (only 66 games due to lockout), the Cavs .500 record would have finished as the 9th seed.  That's honestly the worst spot to finish in.  There's a reason the Milwaukee Bucks are annually the best "average" team in the NBA.  They are always a .500 team and never get big draft picks to help change their franchise.  For the Cavs, like this past season, it's 8th seed or snag a lottery pick again.

In my last post I stated the Heat, Celtics, Pacers, 76ers and Bulls are my playoff locks.  I am sticking with that.  I believe Orlando has fallen dramatically.  I'm not sure the Knicks have improved or gotten worse.  The Nets are improved and have a new home, city, and roster.  Atlanta may have gotten better through addition by subtraction.  Will Toronto or Milwaukee make the jump?  I view Detroit, Cleveland and possibly Washington as improved.  Charlotte is still terrible.  ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

If the Cavs can muscle through November, December and January features the most winnable games based on playoff teams from last year.  The also leads into the home heavy February.  This all amounts to the Cavs be in a positive position going into the ASG and trade deadline.  March kind of sucks and may be the month that ends up costing the Cavs in the long run.  

Projected Starting Five and Roster
PG:  Kyrie Irving
SG:  Dion Waiters
SF:  CJ Miles
PF:  Tristan Thompson
C:  Andy Varejao
6th Man:  Alonzo Gee (SF)

PG Back Ups:  Jeremy Pargo and/or Donald Sloan
SG/SF Back Ups:  Boobie Gibson, Omri Casspi
PF Back Ups:  Samardo Samuels, Jon Leuer, and/or Kevin Jones
C Back Ups:  Tyler Zeller and/or Michael Eric
Scrubs:  The Luke's...Harangody and Walton