The offseason took a sharp left turn for the Cleveland Cavaliers when Kyrie Irving reportedly demanded a trade from management. This took the basketball world by storm because of how dynamic Kyrie and LeBron James were together. They led the Cavaliers to three straight finals, ultimately winning the franchise’s first ever championship in 2016.
Despite the dominant run, Kyrie hit his breaking point and was tired of being second fiddle to LeBron. He knew that no matter how well he played, he was always going to be viewed as the second best player on the team and that is the consequence of playing with a ‘once-in-a-generation’ talent like LeBron.
Before this story broke, however, the Cavaliers announced a rather peculiar signing. They signed former MVP Derrick Rose. This was looked at as a great signing because of how great a playmaker Rose can be when he is healthy. Playmakers are important for the Cavaliers given that they only had two of them in the finals, and it hurt them tremendously.
Rose’s role took a huge turn once the Irving trade went through. Even though the Cavaliers were receiving a talented point guard in Isaiah Thomas, his injured hip may not allow him to suit up until the middle of the season. This means that Rose will be a huge piece of the puzzle if the Cavaliers would like to remain atop the Eastern Conference.
Of course, LeBron will be responsible for running the offense for most of the game, but he will need help from Rose and the other point guards to spell him some minutes and energy. The season is too long to be having LeBron handle the rock every possession. The Cavaliers staff will have to make sure that LeBron is in tip top shape so that he does not fatigue in the fourth quarters due to the load he has to carry.
If Rose and Jose Calderon can create for others and score when needed to, then that will give LeBron some much needed in-game rest. The combination of that rest and the NBA schedule getting dragged out to avoid four games in five nights will certainly be beneficial for the Cavaliers.
It will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers look without Irving this coming season. They will have to have solid point guard play from Rose and Calderon in order to make up for Thomas’ injury. If they can be respectable during that time period, then the Cavaliers will be in a good position once Thomas is back in action. With so many new faces, we will have to wait and see how things play out.
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