“All the predictions and prognostications, it doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Blatt said after practice Thursday. “Right now we are not as of yet a full team, so it’s hard for me to tell you what we are.”
The NBA’s annual GM survey had Cleveland selected as the favorite by 53.6% of those surveyed. VegasInsider.com has them as a 5 to 2 title favorites.
“We’re not even talking about that right now,” Blatt said of the expectations surrounding his team. “We’re talking about how we can get everybody on the same page, get all our players back, work hard and try to make day-to-day progress. That’s very far down the line and what we’re really concerned with is just becoming a good team right now.”
The Cavs were one of the NBA’s hottest teams from January on last year. From January through Game Three of the NBA Finals, they had a 48-12 record, until suffering some minor set backs in the last three games of the finals.
The Cavs are entering the season hurting a bit. Kyrie Irving has yet to practice in training camp after suffering an injury in the finals last season. Days before camp opened, Iman Shumpert injured his wrist and isn’t due back until December. Timofey Mosgov is feeling discomfort after an offseason procedure, and Anderson Varejao is still working on his conditioning.
Even LeBron James is feeling a bit of pain. He is rehabbing his back after receiving an injection last week and hasn’t participated in the last two practices.
The Cavs are an excellent team, and they will bounce back. The question is will the early season bumps and bruises slow the team in the early going?