In the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference and haven’t ever really been close to contending for a spot in the playoffs. They have looked like a team that is still in the process of rebuilding since the departure of LeBron James.
However, that rebuilding process might be closer to being done than many people might think. Through the entire season, this team has shown flashes of brilliance in many areas, but their season has largely been derailed by injuries and the fact that they still have one or two moves left to make.
They are definitely on the verge of being a playoff team, though.
For starters, their first round pick from 2012, Dion Waiters, has proven to be a capable player this season as he’s gained experience and improved over the entire year. Their other first round pick, Tyler Zeller, has shown the potential to be a quality backup center in the NBA.
Tristan Thompson has also shown massive improvements this season as he’s been seeing more time on the floor. After playing just 23.7 minutes per game and averaging 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 43.9 percent shooting last season, Thompson has come out and averaged 11.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game on 48.6 percent shooting in 31.2 minutes per game. He’s definitely developing nicely.
One thing that’s often forgotten about this Cavaliers team, too is that they have played most of the season without Anderson Varejao, who initially was out to have leg surgery, but was forced to miss the entire year due to a blood clot in his lung. Before the injury, though, he was averaging a career-high in both points and rebounds per game at 14.1 and 14.4 respectively. Having him back on the floor next season will also make this team better.
Then, because of their poor season this year, Cleveland will also add another high lottery pick to their squad. They currently have the fourth-best odds in the lottery, which puts them in position to get a player like Otto Porter Jr., who would be perfect for what they like to do offensively.
Of course, you can’t discuss the Cavs without talking about Kyrie Irving. In just his second season of professional basketball and at just 21-years-old, he is averaging 22.7 points, 5.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game on 45.7 percent shooting and 40.6 percent 3-point shooting. He still has work to do in terms of his defense, but he still has a lot of time to improve on that.
The Cavaliers have had another lowly year this season that has featured some awesome moments, but not a lot of victories. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they have been quietly building a solid team that can succeed in the future. They may not be a championship contender any time soon, but the pieces are in place for them to be a playoff team soon enough.