2007 Cleveland Cavaliers Season Preview
LeBron James (.476 FG%, .319 3P%, .698 FT%, 6.7 RPG, 6.0 APG, 27.3 PPG) came of age last season, leading his club to the NBA finals. The Cavs have won 50 games in each of the last two seasons but much of that has been due to a fine defense and the offense of James. There’s no one new on the roster to help James when on offense, but coach Mike Brown says the team will look different. Brown plans to be more opportunistic and use the fast break.
In the frontcourt, there’s the best small forward in the NBA-- James. The center position is manned by 7’ 3” Zydrunas Ilgauskas (.485 FG%, .000 3P%, .807 FT%, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 11.9 PPG), a nine-year veteran, who is a huge help when he’s on target. Not the most athletic player, but his long reach allows him to tap in rebounds for points. Forward Grew Gooden (.473 FG%, .167 3P%, .714 FT%, 8.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 11.1 PPG) can be amazing one night and below average the next.
In the backcourt, Larry Hughes (.400 FG%, .333 3P%, .676 FT%, 3.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, 14.9 PPG), unfortunately, gets the start at point guard. The problem isn’t that Hughes is a bad point guard, it’s simply that he’s more useful at shooting guard. The shooting guard situation is tough to figure out, although there are options. They include second year guard Daniel Gibson (.424 FG%, .351 3P%, .663 FT%, 1.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 4.6 PPG). But if Gibson can learn the ins and outs of the point, he’d be good there too. Off the bench, 12-year veteran Eric Snow (.417 FG%, .000 3P%, .637 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 4.2 PPG) provides fine defense.
James is an amazing athlete and the glue of this team. The Cavs were inconsistent all last year and still lack a true point guard, which can be problematic. The most important thing for this team is that they have to play like a team throughout the season. Everyone needs to show up every night. If they can do that, they’ll be back in the post-season mix.