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Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Tips – Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

Posted by Craig Parsons on 11/4/2012 5:35:45 PM

For legions of online sportsbook gurus, the Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer a destination team in the NBA. This is no longer a magnet for top talent now that LeBron James isn't around. Players don't want to play in the northeastern corner of Ohio since a star presence is missing from the franchise. Players have also seen how owner Dan Gilbert has made a fool of himself in public spats with LeBron and other figures around the league. The outlook for this franchise isn't all that promising – not yet, at any rate.

As far as the Cavaliers are concerned, the main source of basketball intrigue that online betting sites are focusing on is this team's backcourt. Kyrie Irving (point guard) and new draftee Dion Waiters (shooting guard) form one of the most exciting and explosive tandems in the league. Irving is one of the most creative and acrobatic dribble-penetrators and finishers in the league. He is already in the process of cultivating a well-rounded game that, when polished and developed, could turn into a poor man's version of what Chris Paul brings to the court for the Los Angeles Clippers. Irving won a number of games last year with last-minute buckets, a testament to his toughness as a competitor. Irving's belief in himself is something that his teammates will latch onto. It is the best thing the Cavaliers can point to as a franchise.

The ranks of online betting experts who focus on basketball (as opposed to other sports) will acknowledge that Waiters – who also has a devastating first step and a big-time handle – will make Irving harder to guard. Opponents will not be able to bring much of any double-team pressure to the perimeter, since Irving and Waiters can both dribble out of trouble and find open men in a short amount of time. Teams with average or below-average perimeter defense have reason to worry when they play Cleveland this season.

However, when you get past the backcourt, you should be able to dominate the Cavs in the frontcourt. Their best frontcourt player is Anderson Varejao, a solid defender who hustles on every possession and never phones in an indifferent effort. There's a lot to admire about Varejao, who takes his paycheck – and his responsibilities – seriously. However, Varejao is a role player at best. He's nothing close to an anchor as a center. He can outplay lousy centers but will not hold a candle to the upper-tier big men in the Eastern Conference, such as Andrew Bynum and Roy Hibbert. Varejao is not as good as Chicago center Joakim Noah or New York pivot Tyson Chandler.

Remember: Varejao is Cleveland's best frontcourt performer.

Tristan Thompson at power forward and Alonzo Gee at small forward do not measure up against any of the frontcourt combinations on teams that made the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. This is a player's league, a league in which talent reveals itself and carries the day on most nights and for most teams. Only at the conference finals level might coaching, and not talent, prove to be decisive, and even then, talent still wins more than coaching. Cleveland is short on talent at the two forward spots, and that's why the Cavs aren’t likely to make the playoffs in this season… or the next one.


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