Small-market teams are going to have an enormous impact in the 2013-2014 NBA season. There were numerous teams outside of the big markets that were active in free agency this summer, have built solid rosters over the past few years, and are going to be in the mix when the postseason runs around.
There’s no doubt that the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of those teams that figure to be in the playoff-picture this season. The Cavs obviously have Kyrie Irving to build around and have added Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett in recent drafts while also adding Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum as free-agents this summer.
Just to watch Irving continue developing into a star, the Cavs are going to be intriguing and fun to watch this season. When you throw in all of the pieces that are going to be around him this season, it’s going to be even more fun to watch them this season. That’s why it’s kind of confusing to look at their schedule.
The Cavs have only nine nationally televised games in the upcoming season, including games that will be shown on NBA TV. Not including those games on NBA TV, the Cavs only have four games that will be shown on national TV. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of one of the most exciting young teams in the league.
I understand that teams like the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are always going to draw the most nationally televised games. However, guys like Irving are the future of this league, part of the next generation of stars. The league needs to do what they can to feature those guys on TV so fans can buy-in and gravitate towards those players. It’s obviously not going to happen this season, for Irving and the Cavs at least, but it’s something they need to consider in the future.