This is a Cavaliers column I didn’t expect to write a year ago, or even in the spring – Terry Pluto

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Talking to myself as the Cavaliers prepare for their season opener Wednesday:

Question: How many matches will the Cavs win this season?

Answer: I usually hate this question.

Q: Why?

A: When LeBron James was here, the number of regular season wins was almost meaningless. The Cavs needed enough to make it to the playoffs, then James & Co played for real. Even on LeBron’s first tour, the regular season was irrelevant a few years later.

s: And when James wasn’t here?

A: Expect them to win 25 games…or 28…or 32? who cares? They would have lost over 50. The regular season also had a poor feeling. Back then, it was all about pingpong lottery balls.

Q: But now?

A: The transformation designed by the front office of Kobe Altman and Mike Gancy along with coach JB Bickerstaff and his staff has been amazing. While the 2021-22 season ended with a dip, they finished 44-38. They were happy to watch. They were in the playoffs. They were young and motivated. I loved this team.

Q: What is your forecast for 2021-22?

a: He was from 32 to 50. I thought I was an optimist. At least that wasn’t the dumbest prediction I’ve ever made about the Cavs.

Q: What was that?

A: I do not say. very embarrassing.

Q: You are a juror.

A: Oh, boy. When James left for Miami in the summer of 2010, I expected it The team will finish 46-36 without him.

moon man

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jamario Moon was the next attacking starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers following the departure of LeBron James in 2010.normal merchant

Q: With Jamario Moon he started as a junior striker after LeBron?

A: I was angry about the resolution being offered, etc. I lost my mind.

Q: Do you know what they did in the 2010-11 season?

A: They had a 19-63 record. They have lost a franchise record 26 in a row.

Q: What did you expect the second time James left, which would be for the 2018-19 season.

A: I’m taking the fifth, because that’s going to get me sort of a count.

s: It was your expectation…

A: Kevin Love is back. They had Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Tristan Thompson and everyone else from the 2018 team that lost in the finals.

Q: What was your expectation…

A: I thought They will be 36-46.

Q: And they were?

A: (in a whisper) 19-63.

Q: They were 19-63 in 2018-19 as they were in 2010-11 – both in the first seasons after LeBron left.

A: Is this a question?

Add game change

Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell poses for a photo during media day, September 26, 2022, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.John Koontz, cleveland.com

Q: Just create your date. How many matches will this team win?

A: The Donovan Mitchell trade changed everything, at least in terms of increasing expectations. As an NBA executive told me, “Cleveland took a big swing in this trade, and I would have done the same. There are times when you know you give up a lot, but you do. You seize the moment.”

Q: Cleveland Trade Laurie Markkanen, Colin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji and unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029 to Utah State for three-time All-Stars.

A: Top scorer with 28 points in the playoffs who has three years left on his contract. The more I thought about the deal and talked to NBA members from other teams, the more excited I got about it. While Mitchell wanted to be traded in New York, He just happened to be ready for it Embrace Cleveland.

Q: What about the court?

A: That was what was interesting. While watching the pre-season games, Darius Garland and Mitchell fused together faster than I thought. They still have a lot to do. But it is clear that they want to play together. Mitchell is a better passer, striker and defender than Colin Sexton. I mentioned it because some fans wrote to me to ask what is the difference between the two players? Mitchell is physically stronger.

Q: Prediction?

A: I like the way Bickerstaff distinguished Garland and Mitchell in the backcourt: “They play really well together because they understand how to play basketball…They are two smart people who shoot and they know how to pass the ball.”

Q: Still waiting…

A: Bikertsav also said: They are very dangerous, people (the opponents) should pay attention to them. People won’t want to leave them open, this will help everyone.”

Q: Will you give me the numbers?

A: This team must remain loyal to a defensive mentality. He has Garrett Allen and Evan Mobley, two 7-footers who can defend. Mobley is on the verge of stardom. The defense should be good, even if it’s not in the top five like last season.

Q: Really wait now...

A: Bickerstaff described the team as “a work in progress, and an interesting new dynamic.” This sounds like a plea for patience, and it is, to an extent. But the talent is real, even if Bickerstaff is right when he said, “We’re not a finished product.”

Q: Last chance…

A: The Cavs will finish 51-31 and win a playoff round. The last time the Cavs won no fewer than 50 games without James was 1992-1993, the last season with Lenny Wilkins as coach.

Pluto’s last terry columns

What about Brown after five games: Let’s take a closer look

New York, NY… What a day for baseball fans in Cleveland

Can the Guardians unite in New York?

It’s only one match, Guardians fans need to keep telling themselves that

The Forgotten Story of Roger Maris and the Quest for 61 Hours

Cleveland vs. New York, David vs. Golith, bring the playoffs!

Frustrating? That’s an understatement when it comes to Brown

Headed SpongeBob, Huntings and Guardians to New York! Terry Pluto Doodle

Holy SpongeBob, what an end to Oscar Gonzalez and the Guardians

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The inside story of how Cleveland explored and crafted Stephen Kwan

Overcoming the Odds is the story of Shane Pepper, the beginning of the Guardians’ opening match

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