A Season Of Questions: A Cleveland Cavaliers ’19-’20 Preview: Part 3- The Predictions

So technically, maybe this last post isn’t exactly a preview. The NBA season hasn’t only started but the Cavaliers are mid-game right now as I am typing this. I apologize for the delay in the last post of my preview, but we are here now nonetheless and the content is still good.

Last time I left off with a thought about how the Cavs may or may not be putting together pieces for the future in players like Darius Garland, Cedi Osman and Collin Sexton. Well, to know for sure they will have to play the games and find out.

In the spirit of this notion, I have played the schedule game: meaning I have gone through the Cavs schedule, attributed a win or loss to each game and come up with a final record. Below are some thoughts on how that has gone, and then the official record I have come up with.

  • Things are slow to start out. The Cavs drop their first 3 before beating the Bulls at home to end the months of October.
  • They somewhat hold serve for the beginning part of November. I have them at 6-9 after a win on the road in Dallas on the beginning for a back-to-back, where they then have to travel home to play Portland!
  • From there, the bottom drops out. I have them losing their next 12 in a row before a December 18th victory at home over Charlotte to make them 7-21.
  • That losing streak actually includes a 6 game home-stand, but they are all suspected playoff teams: Portland, Brooklyn, Orlando, Milwaukee, Detroit and Orlando again.
  • This stretch also includes a back-to-back at home and then Philly and then another back-to-back at home against Houston and then on the road in San Antonio!
  • They actually round out the rest of the year at 3-2, including that Charlotte game and will go into 2020 with a record of 10-23.
  • That will turn into a 6-3 stretch going into the New Year and I have January as their best month, going 7-9. This includes road wins at Memphis and Detroit as well as another win at home vs. Detroit and another decent Minnesota team
  • They will close out January with a home loss to Toronto, bringing them to 17-32 on Jan. 31st.
  • February brings a lot of rest, only 5 games before the 20th of the month in part due to the the All-Star break. They go 2-3 in those games, but 1-5 afterwards. 20-40 by the end of the month.
  • That end of the month going into March leads to another losing streak, this time 9 games before a road win in Chicago on March 10th.
  • Oddly enough, once again all but 2 of those 9 loses will come at home. 3 games come in 4 days including a New Orleans road game followed by home vs. Indiana back-to-back. Then Utah comes to town just a day later. Then Cavs get rewarded then with 3 homes games vs. Boston, Denver and San Antonio for their efforts…
  • Cleveland will still get 3 more wins in March, including another road win in Atlanta on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, but they really sputter down the stretch.
  • They go 1-7 in April to end the year, ending at 25-57. Their only win in April is a home win vs. Phoenix.
  • Six straight loses to end the year bring them from 25-51 to 25-57.
  • Biggest winning streak: 3 games: 12/18, 12/20 and 12/23 vs Charlotte, Memphis and Atlanta, respectively, all at home
  • Best win: 2/1 at home vs. Golden State or 3/14 on road vs. Atlanta who is fighting for the playoffs

And there is your final record. For those so inclined, I have the Cavaliers taking the over in Vegas, as the odds-makers have them set at 24.5 wins. My sheet with every game written out is posted below to download. Forgive me, its very basic and bare-bones.

Since I’m in the mood of making predictions today, I think I will take a crack at some statistical guesses on team leaders for the season. I would love to be able to take a look back in April and see how I did. To conclude, my stat predictions are down below. All stats using an average (eg: Points Per Game) assume at least 50 games played with the Cavs

Here’s to a fun season watching these young guys grown.

Leaders Predictions

Games Played: Cedi Osman/Collin Sexton (82)- Sexton played 82 last year, Osman led the team in minutes per game

3 Pointers Made: Collin Sexton (147)- one of 3 guys with over 100 threes last year, expect even more of a focus on shooting from deep

Rebounds Per Game: Tristan Thompson (11.1)- one of the best rebounders in the league. I think he stays healthier than Kevin Love and is less likely to be traded as well.

Assists Per Game: Matthew Dellavedova (4.9)- I think Sexton and Darius Garland split ball-handling abilities for the 1st team, but Delly’s usage will be high off the bench. Remember that Ast% from last year.

Steals Per Game: Larry Nance Jr. (1.1)- doesn’t lead the league in steals like he wants, but does finish in the top 10.

Blocks Per Game: Larry Nance Jr. (0.7)- this one is kinda a crap-shoot. No one averaged over 0.6 blocks last year. Nance is athletic enough to challenge some shots, more so than Thompson or Love.

Points Per Game: Darius Garland (18.3)- has a very Sexton-like scoring year, but slightly better. Love is either disqualified by trade or injury.

Bonus Prediction: Kevin Love doesn’t get traded, but its because he misses December thru February with another injury. Jordan Clarkson does get dealt though for at least one draft pick and a return contract to match him.

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