Want to know who's heating up for a big season on the hardwood? Insider is tapping into John Hollinger's projected player efficiency ratings to see who's trending up and down across the NBA. Ric Bucher rounds out the report by examining a pivotal player you'll want to watch as the season approaches. The series continues with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers added wing size (Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon), toughness (Leon Powe) and, of course, Shaquille O'Neal, who adds frivolity and great quotes and relieves guard Delonte West of being the team's best low-post scorer. But does it all add up to a title and/or the magic elixir that keeps LeBron James in Cleveland beyond this season? James remains coy, and Clevelanders remain nervous. The additions make them better, for sure, but they don't fully address their chief weakness: pick-and-roll defense against an athletic big and an oversized wing. Yeah, Orlando let their big wing go (Hedo Turkoglu), but the Celtics still have theirs (Paul Pierce) with two versatile bigs (KG and 'Sheed) capable of causing the Cavs fits.
To see which player is taking off, which is crashing to earth and which name you'll need to know for the 2009-10 season, you must be an ESPN Insider.