The first ten games on the Cavaliers’ schedule are all winnable. Especially the first seven. I’m not trying to say that for effect, or totally drunk on Cavs Kool-Aid already either. Sure, I do enjoy imbibing on the juices of optimism a little bit more than I should this time of year, but there is no way to argue that the first six teams (in those first seven games) that the Cavaliers play are particularly good.
Here they are in order to open the season for some context: Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors again, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here are the odds each of those six teams win the NBA championship according to the Las Vegas odds-makers (via BoDog.com) respectively: 200:1, 150:1, 100:1, 50:1, 150:1, 200:1, 150:1. The San Antonio Spurs are projected as the 10th best team right now according to Vegas and they’re setting that cut-off into the upper-third at 30:1 for some perspective.
So maybe I shouldn’t have New Jersey in that group based on the fact that Vegas has them as the 14th best team in the League (upper half), but I don’t know that they’re necessarily all that stable of a group. Deron Williams is currently offering odds he re-signs with the team already during interview sessions and training camp hasn’t even opened yet. Rounding out that first ten games is Portland (Vegas’ 11th best team at 35:1 despite Amnesty talks swirling around ex-franchise player Brandon Roy), and two more teams projected to be in the bottom half of the League in Utah and Phoenix both at 100:1 odds to win the whole thing (same as Indiana).
So with all that said, I’m comfortable predicting a 6-4 Cavs record or better to open the season. 7-3 wouldn’t shock me. After that, it does get kinda real though. From January 13th through January 31st the match-ups included are the Lakers, Bulls, Hawks, Heat, Knicks, and Boston twice (along with Charlotte again and Golden State). Finishing the month of January at 10-10 would be a great start for this team (yes, even if they started 7-3). Something like 8-12 or 9-11 wouldn’t really be that bad either and it would probably keep them in it for a while too. If they don’t get off to a good start in those first ten game, it could get ugly quick.
What was the point of you posting those odds though, Bowers? Did you not notice that Vegas also has the Cavaliers now downgraded to a 200:1 shot to win the whole thing? Yes, I noticed that. My take at this point is that we really have no idea how this team is going to start the season, and just because we don’t know doesn’t mean that they will then automatically be awful. What if Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Omri Casspi click instantly? What if this team comes out the gate firing? We don’t know they won’t do that, is the point.
Which is basically why I’m so excited about this season. There is the unknown, but along with that is also potential. Sure, it does kind of make it harder that in those first ten winnable games seven of them are on the road, but what are you gonna do. If the Cavs can figure out a way to hang around until February, the schedule gets pretty nuts. Ten of the thirteen February games are at home, and nine of those games are consecutively at home. If the Cavaliers have 10, 9, or even 8 wins heading into that home-stand, they could really make things interesting this season.
And if they don’t, than they’ll be in a great position for a high value pick in next June’s Draft. There is no way we can lose right now Cavs fans, it’s all good. Enjoy the ride peoples.