With Lebron's coming home tour to Cleveland, and Kevin Love joining Lebron, there has been large talk about how good the Cleveland Cavaliers will be in the up-coming season. Well, knowing they have 3 all star players, and the best player in the world, I can tell you they will be pretty darn good. The bigger question needed to be asked is the controversy of having to deal with the team up north in the Windy City.
Chicago has had a relatively good off-season - not perfect in losing Melo to New York - but they still have picked up some good assets. For one, after losing Melo, the Bulls went out at got former Lakers power forward, Pau Gasol. Gasol will be there for Chicago to help out their horrendous scoring (
Which was dead last in the NBA last season, with 93 points per game), as he is a good 17-10 guy. Gasol's only real struggle will be on defense, as he is mediocre at best. However, with the help of defensive master mind, Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls will be just fine on defense. After Gasol, they needed a small forward from losing the Carmelo sweepstakes and trading Luol Deng a year earlier. The hole in the project was solved in the NBA Draft by drafting Creighton scorer, Doug McDermott. McDermott averaged 26 points per game for the Bluejays, and shot 45% from three and 56% from the field. Again, like Gasol, McDermott's only real struggle is on defense. However, being a college coaches son, and not being the quickest guy in the world, McDermott has been able to develop an outstanding IQ on the court. His high IQ will help him shape into a good defensive helper on defense. Now, having to face up one on one with a guy (cough cough Lebron, Melo, KD), might be another problem that the Bulls will have to address.
And of course, we have the one and only, Derrick Rose. From looking at highlights of Derrick Rose at the USAB Showcase, I think we can all say he is back. Now playing against tight defensive pressure in the NBA Regular Season might slow him down in the beginning, but he looks back into his 2011 MVP Form! Rose finished the showcase with 8 points, and one monstrous throw down. If Rose can stay healthy, he will be a huge help to the Bulls struggling offense from 2013.
Now, these three players recently added to the Bulls are trouble for Lebron James and Cleveland. However, Cleveland has been no slouch in picking up players this off-season. Obviously, there is Lebron James. You can't go wrong with Lebron. Other than Lebron, the Cavs have picked up shooting star, Kevin Love, and Mike Miller. Although they had to trade away Andrew Wiggins, it's for the best as the Cavs are better off with a proven player right now.
Love and Miller are going to be a ginormous problem for opposing teams, as Lebron will no longer be able to be doubled and force and shot (Like in 2010). Lebron now has 3 of 4 players who can shoot on the floor at any given time, and with Love playing center at times, he will have 4 players to rely on! Now, Kyrie Irving has yet to prove he can catch and shoot, but his 38% three point shooting gives me a lot of hope he can develop that part of his game. Not to mention, if the Cavs start Mike Miller or Ray Allen (If he comes to Cleveland like the reports say), they will have a dynamic youngster at the 6th man position in Dion Waiters. Waiters is a pure scorer as he averaged 16 points per game last season, and can shoot from deep with a 36% mark. He is not someone that will take over a team and lead them to a Championship, but he is simply a great asset in need of scoring. This will be great for Cleveland, as he can give Kyrie a rest, and still provide some scoring.
Anyway you put it, a team will be great with Lebron James on the floor. Now with great shooters, and all-stars, the Cavs are set on offense. The main problem will be on defense. Kyrie Irving is mediocre on defense (108 defensive rating), Kevin Love is poor (104 defensive rating), Anderson Varejao is the best argument (Besides Lebron) as he is a presence on the boards. Overall, the Cavs will need to find a strategy to fend of opposing offenses. The new Cavaliers coach, David Blatt, is a long time coach in Europe, and will need to think of solving their biggest predicament.
Overall, having said that, I trust in the best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau. With three scorers, and two average scorers in Jimmy Butler (13 PPG) and Joakim Noah (13 PPG), their scoring will be great to along with their great defense. I don't see Chicago having the same defense as last year with three mediocre defenders added to the roster, but with mastermind Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls will maintain a tight and stingy defense. For Cleveland, they will be great, but I don't see them being as balanced as Chicago on defense, and have them at the 2nd seed in the East. For now, at this moment in the off-season, and with Derrick Rose healthy, I have the Chicago Bulls as the Beasts of the East.