TOP NOTCH SPORTS PICKS

The main story for the Cavaliers in the 2006/07 season, as it has been for the past three and probably will be for the foreseeable future, is LeBron James. LeBron is by far one of the best young players that the league has seen in a very long time, and his performance last season was as impressive as any other players in the NBA.

LeBron James was third in the league last year with 31.4 points per game. His scoring numbers have improved every year since he has been in the league and there is no reason to expect a drop in production anytime soon. One thing that Cavaliers fans would be happy to see is an increase from his 6.6 assists a game. Once thought to be the heir apparent to Oscar Robertson, James still has a lot of work to do in getting his teammates more involved.

Playing aside LeBron in the upcoming season are role players such as Larry Hughes and Zydrunnas Illgauskas. Larry Hughes is coming off a slightly disappointing season in which he was injured for two-thirds of the year. He should benefit greatly from playing an entire season next to one of the best players in the league and return to his 2004 form when he averaged 22.1 points per game. Illgauskas is a great scorer at the center position and is usually the key to how well the team as a whole does. If he is able to set a tone early, the Cavaliers are very tough to beat.

Other role players who are expected to contribute to the team include Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones and Anderson Varejao. Marshall is an inconsistent scorer at the power-forward position who has a long range. Jones is another inconsistent shooter who can light it up from the three-point range. Both players are expected to improve upon mediocre 2005 seasons. Anderson Varejao is a pure energy player who can give the team a boost off of his reckless play. Varejao has to stay healthy, however, and make it past the sixty games played mark for the first time in his career.

Second-year head coach Mike Brown may not get much press, but there is no question that he got the job done last year by leading the Cavaliers to their first playoff berth in a long time and winning a playoff series. More will be expected from him and the team, however, in 2006/07 and Brown needs to make sure that his team is not happy with last years results. This is not a championship team yet, but they are only one or two players away from that status.



Source by Jake Gambler