The Cleveland Cavaliers finished the first week of the young season and it has not gone great at all. Here below I break down the player rankings based on their play (if they played) over the first three games.
Kevin has been the Cavs best player so far this season just based solely on his leadership and his rebounding. Love has been solid on both the offensive and defensive glass and has shown at times that he can be a number one option on a good team. While he may not be shooting the most efficiently, he’s only shooting 30 percent from the field, Love is averaging 20.7 points per game (ppg) and a total 14.7 rebounds. Overall, Kevin Love has been the Cavs best player through the first three games this season.
Cedi was thrust into the starting small-forward role with LeBron’s departure and Osman has been spectacular as one of the main scoring options. Osman is averaging 17.0 ppg while shooting 40 percent from the field and over 50 percent from 3. Cedi has also shown the ability to distribute the ball in a role that LeBron had last season as well as the ability to go coast-to-coast and score the ball. Cedi’s season will be of the up and down variety but this start is promising for the 23-year-old.
Jordan Clarkson has been the top bench scorer for the Cavs this season. It seems whenever they need a spark, Ty Lue brings in Clarkson and he can’t miss. Clarkson has scored in double figures in all three games this season and is averaging 17.7 ppg while shooting just above 53 percent from the field. If he keeps this up and the team continues their struggles, Clarkson might be forced into a starting role. Either that or Clarkson could become the Lou Williams of this team, the main scorer off of the bench.
Tristan Thompson is off to an incredible start to the season. Thompson has been a monster not only on the glass but also with his scoring capability. Thompson is scoring 9.3 points a game on 65 percent shooting as well as 10.7 rebounds per game. Thompson already has 12 offensive rebounds this season, which is nearly five per 36 minutes. That is amazing for just a short stint so far this season.
Rodney Hood came into the season as the second scoring option for the Cavs and so far has yet to live up to the expectations. Hood is shooting an awful 14 percent from three to start the season and is only scoring 11.7 ppg. Late in the game Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, Hood went on a run of his own scoring nine straight points for the Cavs, but only scored 13 for the night. In order for the Cavs to win games, they need Hood to be a reliable scoring option and so far he hasn’t done that. He has played well on the defensive side of the ball at times and has shown the ability to move the ball around.
Sexton, at times, has shown why the Cavs drafted him eighth overall in this past draft. Sexton has played with tenacity against players but has shown that he is still a rookie and getting used to the speed of the NBA. Sexton is averaging nine ppg and is shooting the mid range well but still has yet to make a three-point shot. With only three assists this season Sexton needs to work on his court vision before he wants to become the starting point guard for this team and the future.
Hill has shown some stability as the starting point guard for the Cavs this season. He has shown average play this season as he is averaging 12.7 ppg while contributing four assists a game. His lanky body allows him to switch in multiple positions and be able to hold his own. Hill is holding down the position well for whenever Sexton is ready to take over, in the meantime the Cavs need Hill to initiate the offense through his passing and defense.
Larry Nance Jr.
Nance has only played in the one game against the Hawks but showed that his sprained ankle is not holding him back. Nance Jr. has shown to be the teams only true rim protector. His athletic ability is what keeps him in games and opens up his mid-range shot that he can knock down from time to time. As he continues to play this season, Nance will rise up these player power rankings.
Dekker has struggled mightily to start the season only scoring four ppg. Dekker has struggled shooting the three when he does shoot them and struggles on the defensive end. Dekker played well against the Hawks on Sunday but still struggled to play well against the top teams in the NBA. If the former first-round pick wants to stay in the rotation and rise up in the rankings he will need to perform much better than he is right now.
Zizic played in the first two games this season against the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves and looked lost and the game was way too fast paced for him. Last season Zizic looked promising at times but still struggled on the defensive end. Zizic has shown promise rebounding and scoring the ball, but if he can’t do much defensively for this team then he will not last long in the regular rotation.
Overall the Cavs have stunk through the first week of the season but they can only go up from here, right? Check back next week for the second Cavs player power rankings.