The Cleveland Cavaliers are arguably the team that made the most potentially beneficial moves this summer heading into the 2013-14 NBA season. They added depth to their frontcourt with rookie Anthony Bennett and free-agent center Andrew Bynum, but also addressed their backcourt and wings by signing Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark, as well as drafting Sergey Karasev.
This Cavs team with the talent that they have surrounding emerging superstar point guard Kyrie Irving could potentially be in the mix for a playoff spot, likely the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The over/under line set by Bovada coming into the season certainly has that in mind as they set the win total at 40.5.
Last season, the Boston Celtics came into the playoffs as the seventh seed in the East by winning 41 games. With the East having some teams improved, but also having quite a few bad teams as well, 41 wins is likely going to be around the mark a franchise will need to grab the seventh or eighth seed this year as well. Basically, if you want to take the over on the Cavs, you have to believe that they are a playoff team this season.
What complicates things when it comes to Cleveland, though, is the concern with injuries. Bynum, who would almost certainly vault the Cavs into the playoffs with his interior presence, is still not cleared to play and has a long and tumultuous injury history. More than that, Tyler Zeller is still out after an appendectomy and other players like Irving, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters also have proven to be at risk for injuries.
If the Cavs don’t stay healthy, then there’s no way that they reach their maximum potential this season. One of the strengths of this team when healthy is their depth all over the floor, but injuries would negate that and leave their team shallower than they need to be to make the postseason.
Call me crazy, but I think the Cavs can stay healthy this season. It’s always near impossible to predict how and when injuries are going to happen, yet my gut continues to tell me that this Cavs team can stay clear of any injuries that would be debilitating to the team’s chances. I believe that Bynum will return and give this team a boost and that Kyrie can avoid anything that would keep him out for an extended period of time. That’s a huge gamble, but if that happens, taking the over for Cleveland seems like the right call.