The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.
Where do the Cleveland Cavaliers stand at the All-Star Break?
Playoff Chances: 0%
Championship Odds: +80000
Division Odds: +50000
Conference Championship winner: +60000
This was never expected to be a banner season for the Cavs, although nobody could have expected it to go this poorly. Cleveland has the worst record in the Eastern Conference and figures to be in the running for the top overall pick in the NBA Draft when all is said and done.
Despite their record, the Cavaliers were buyers of sort at the Trade Deadline. They picked up Andre Drummond for basically nothing, although it’s unclear how much of an impact he actually has on winning games. He represents an outdated archetype and there’s a reason the Detroit Pistons were willing to give him up for a second-round pick, John Henson and Brandon Knight. In Drummond’s first two games with the Cavs, they lost at home by 41 points and then he got benched in favor of Tristan Thompson in his second game.
Prediction: Cavs finish with one of the five worst records in the NBA.
Key Injuries for Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love, PF/C (Achilles) — out
In the Cavs’ last game before the All-Star break, Love sat out because of a sore Achilles. We have seen some devastating Achilles injuries over the last couple of seasons, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Cavaliers proceed with caution. If he doesn’t return for the first game after the break, look for Larry Nance to play an extended role. Without Love on Wednesday, Nance entered the starting lineup, scoring 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds. He would be a great fantasy asset if Love misses time.
Fantasy basketball spotlight: Collin Sexton
As a defender, Sexton has obvious shortcomings. He likely won’t ever be a defensive stalwart and he ranks 80th of 83 qualified point guards in defensive real plus-minus. However, Sexton has one good skill, he can score and do it fairly efficiently. He’s averaging 19.7 points per game this season and is shooting a solid 36.8% from three.
This is a key skill to being able to play alongside Drummond. Sexton has also been improving as the season wears on. January was his best month of the season. For the month, he averaged 22.7 points on 47.6% shooting from the field and 44.6% from three. If he can keep this up, his offense will more than cover for his lack of play on defense.
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