After last year’s roller coaster of a season, many were questioning what path the Cavaliers were taking, or if they were even on a path at all. First, there was HC John Beilein, which despite the curious excitement, was never a fit to lead a very different set of players in the NBA. J.B Bickerstaff stepped in and seemed to right the ship. Then there was the bizarre trade for C Andre Drummond. Suddenly, COVID-19 stopped the basketball season in its tracks, the gates to the “bubble” in Orlando were not opened and the Cavs season was over, leaving many questions.
So far, however, the Cavs are showing signs that they do indeed have an identity and a way forward. SG Collin Sexton and PG Darius Garland are both playing like top-10 picks. 2020 selection SF Isaac Okoro has made an admirable first impression and Bickerstaff has his team giving full effort on defense, a sight to behold in today’s pickup game style of NBA Basketball.
The additions of Drummond and newly-acquired C JaVale McGee also make a lot of sense. Because Garland and Sexton are liabilities defensively, having big men to protect the paint, grab rebounds and provide help defense allows Bickerstaff to play the young guards together. The backcourt can run things offensively while the frontcourt provides much-needed leadership and defense. Combining the two has proven to be a winning formula, at least so far. Once SF Kevin Porter Jr., arguably the best of the Cavs’ 2019 rookies, returns, they’ll be in even better shape.
A ton of talent exists on the Cavs roster. It’s clear that its biggest need was a head coach to tie everything together. Bickerstaff presumably has the faith of his players, veterans and rookies alike. He has also gotten the best performances out of Sexton, who is a threat to score 30 every game, along with Garland. The unbelievably young, but immensely talented backcourt has a chance to be special. They can because of Bickerstaff’s leadership and the roster moves GM Koby Altman made this past off season.
Now, the only thing that needs fixing is the awful black alternate uniforms. But that’s for another story…