For the Cleveland Cavaliers to make the playoffs, they will likely need two often injured big men to be healthy: Andrew Bynum and Anderson Varejao. Few remember that Varejao was tearing it up before a blood clot and a leg injury ended his season. Likewise, Bynum was dominant the last time he was on the floor, but that was almost a year and a half ago. To make any prediction under the assumption that they will both play over 60 games would be foolish. If they miraculously do this team can win 45+ games and be a real pesky team in the East, but more likely than not they will both struggle to stay upright.
All of these worries come before injury concerns over Kyrie Irving. Fans and media members alike love Irving, but truth be told, he has also missed a lot of time. There is an assumption he will not only stay healthy but also make another leap into superstardom. That is certainly a possibility, but I’m not sure it’s a probability.
All that being said, the Cavs have a fascinating team. Dion Waiters should continue to improve. Anthony Bennett should be an interesting player to watch as well. Even Tristan Thompson is sneakily underrated. All three of those players have the potential to be game changers for Cleveland going forward. This team is stacked with super high upside guys who all have question marks. That makes them immensely hard to predict.
If we assume Waiters, Thompson, and Irving all make steady improvements, and Bennett is a useful player, this will be a good team. It would honestly be unfair to expect Varejao or Bynum to be big contributors, and that is likely their downfall in terms of making the playoffs. If either Varejao or Bynum can play 60+ games at full strength, this team should grab the eighth seed. If both do, look out, they could even jump up to No. 5 or 6. However, a more likely outcome is that neither gets their act together and Cleveland shows a lot of potential, but once again misses the playoffs.
Prediction: Cleveland gets 39 wins and the No. 9 seed.