Does Dwyane Wade make Cleveland better than last year? Nick Wright and Cris Carter give their thoughts.
- Let's add Jae Crowder to that.
- That's an important addition, as well.
- Consider him added.
- And I'm not even going to add the potential all-star they could get if they trade that Brooklyn pick. Just the team as it is now is better than last year, as Chris laughs. Here is all the Cavs have to be to be better than last year. Can you not melt down when LeBron rests. The numbers are jarring. You're like, wow, the Cavs were the second best team in the sport last year.
- I wonder if you know what the numbers are. That's crazy if you did.
- The Cavs had two other all-stars in Kyrie and Kevin Love-- younger players. LeBron should be able to take it easy. But of course, he wasn't. Because last year, in the regular season, when LeBron was on the court, the Cavs outscored teams by eight points per 100 possessions. That's an elite rate. When he rested, they were outscored by eight points per 100 possessions.
Wow, that's amazing. Here's what's amazing. All that matters for the Cavs is the finals, right? In the NBA Finals-- four-one-- oh, the Warriors dominated them. When LeBron was on the court, the Cavs played him damn near dead even-- so 117-118 in the Warriors' favor. When LeBron wasn't on the court, 112 to 75 in the Warriors' favor-- so from playing them basically even to being outscored by-- oh-- 37 points per 100 possessions.
CC, you and I saw it in person in game three. First quarter of game three, the Cavs had an eight-point lead with a minute 40 left, they're like, all right, LeBron, you can take the last hundred seconds of the quarter off. The Warriors go on a 10-0 run. And the game changed right there.
So are they better? Yes. Because they're deeper, and it's not about LeBron needing to rest, because I don't know that LeBron is human. I don't know that he needs to rest. It's about, when he does come off the court, do you melt down as they did so often last year?
- Yeah, their second unit was a huge concern last year. The numbers are obvious, as far as LeBron, when he takes time off. There's a huge difference in the team. Why I think it's better is because I think the roster from one to 12 is going to be better. When you add people like Derrick Rose, D-Wade, both of these guys have extensive playoff experience.
But also, I'm not looking for these guys to play 80 games. You know, because with LeBron-- if they're able to massage it, they don't even have to be the number one seed. All they have to do is win one of the first two games in the finals. If Boston has-- all they've got to do is win one of the first two in Boston, then immediately, they have home court advantage.
So getting to the playoffs healthy is going to be important. D-Wade, D-Rose, Calderon-- as a ball-handler-- all right-- also someone who can play some D. Now, as you go through an 82-game schedule, these things become very important. One person I believe is going to be essential to the Cav's success is Jeff Green. You know, people don't talk about him. People act as if he can't play, like he's just an add-on to the roster. But his ability to be able to shoot from the perimeter, and, also, when you get those matchups with LeBron and KD-- he's a guy who can guard some fours, but also can guard some threes.
So I feel like between Crowder and Green and LeBron, they have the ability to get a rotation, that they can be able to-- not shut down someone like Kevin Durant, but slow them down with a number of different bodies, the same way Golden State sends a bunch of bodies at LeBron.