2012-13 CLEVELAND CAVALIERS SEASON PREVIEW:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been steadily building the talent level of their roster over the past several years and made great strides during the 2011-12 season. Although the team finished with a 21-45 record and missed the playoffs, the Cavaliers have studied the approach of successful franchises like the Oklahoma City Thunder who have built their roster through the draft with top tier talent. With last year's first round pick, point guard Kyrie Irving, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, the Cavaliers have a series of important pieces that could start to pay dividends in the coming season.
With this philosophy in mind, the Cavaliers didn't make any huge splashes on the free agent market, only signing C.J. Miles as a backup small forward and guard/forward Kelenna Azubuike, who could be a steal if he can stay healthy throughout the year. Once again, the Cavaliers made the majority of their moves through the draft, picking up Syracuse University shooting guard Dion Waiters with the fourth pick overall. The Cavs had an additional three picks left in the draft, but used them to trade up to the 17th pick to select center Tyler Zeller from North Carolina. Both of these players should see immediate playing time during the 2012-13 season and should be cornerstones of the roster for years to come.
With the duo of Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers have arguably one of the best guard tandems in the league and boast a wealth of experienced depth behind them in Daniel Gibson and Donald Sloan. At small forward, the Cavs let go Antawn Jamison and brought in Alonzo Gee to replace him, who will team with Tristan Thompson at the power forward position, a player that the Cavs hope can take a huge step forward this year. Last but not least, while Tyler Zeller looks to be the center of the future, the job still belongs to starter Anderson Varejao, who has been a steady performer for the team over the past several years.
Over the past several years, the Cavaliers have followed a strict formula to improve their team and may finally have a solid core to truly build a contender. Ultimately, the team will be judged on its most recent slate of draft picks to see if they have to major pieces to build a playoff-ready team or whether the Cavs have to go back to the drawing board.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Central Division
Dancers: Cavalier Girls
Nickname: Cavs, Cleveland Cavs, The Cavs
Notable Players: Nate Thurmond, Lenny Wilkens, LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers Championship Titles: 0
Cleveland Cavaliers Conference Titles: 1 (2007)
When it comes to the National Basketball Association, there are legendary franchises that have won numerous titles and newcomers who are still attempting to make a name for themselves in the league. One of the teams trying to gain its footing in the NBA is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Established in 1970, the Cavs have had a hard time making headway among established teams in the Eastern Conference, such as the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. However, Cleveland fans had something to cheer about in the mid 2000s with the arrival of several notable draft picks, including LeBron James. He came to the team in 2003 when he was drafted to become the next face of the young Cleveland franchise.
With James at the helm, the Cavs made themselves a household name with numerous playoff appearances - one of which was in the 2009-10 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Although the Cavaliers fell to the Boston Celtics, they were able to establish the team as a main competitor in their division and conference.
By the end of 2010, head coach Mike Brown and LeBron James both moved on from the organization. However, this is still an exciting time for Cleveland fans new coach Byron Scott works his magic to bring the team back to the playoffs. The Cavs have a number of superstars primed and ready. Baron Davis, Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker are just to name a few.
The Cavaliers play their home games at the Quicken Loans Arena, which is located in the heart of Cleveland. Known by its shorter nickname, "The Q," the stadium can comfortably hold 20,000 cheering fans.
Cleveland has a number of young stars that are expected to fare well under the guidance of veteran coach, Byron Scott. Experienced players, such as Davis, will also benefit the growing team. Cavalier fans will have more than enough to watch when they visit "The Q" to see their team bring all they've got to the hardwood with young talent and determination.
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