A couple of posts back I predicted the Cavaliers would win 42 games without LeBron James (as a commenter pointed out, LeBron was not their only key loss). I promised I would flesh out the exact player win and loss estimates, and I do so below.
I’m a bit nervous about this particular forecast because it is way out of step with Arturo’s “roster wins” estimate. He has the Cavaliers as a 30 win team, or thereabouts. I’m guessing many people would feel inclined to lean toward Arturo’s view.
There are three vital player production components to my prediction. Anderson Varejao, Jamario Moon, and Antawn Jamison all have to produce above average wins. If either one of them falter, the Cavs will indeed be closer to a 30 win team.
But my predictions for the 3 are in line with their career production. In fact, all of them are slightly below the production that each player has displayed in the recent past. That said, I could see Mike Brown pulling minutes from one of the first two mentioned players on the grounds that neither player is a classic “scorer”, and there is the possibility that the steadily declining play of Antawn Jamison will fall off the cliff. (the worst case scenario is Brown trading minutes from Varejeo to the awful Ryan Hollins or from Jamario Moon to Joey Graham. Either move would harm the Cavaliers, but both moves are foreseeable)