3. Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James decided to make his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason, and they got off to an extremely slow start to the season. That has since been turned around, and the Cavaliers are the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 35-22 record. Some don’t have them as legitimate championship contenders just yet, but they have put together a squad that will definitely be contending this year.
Simply having the best basketball player on the face of the planet gives them an advantage over most other teams. Having two other stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love is going to give them an even bigger advantage on most nights.
Cleveland made a big trade to address their need for bench depth, and ended up bringing J.R. Smith, Timofey Mozgov, and Iman Shumpert on board. Those three players have been major keys to their recent success, and will continue being a big part of what the Cavaliers are doing.
It will be intriguing to see whether or not the Cavaliers “big three” can continue meshing together down the stretch of the season. Love needs to figure things out, and if he does the Cavaliers immediately will be the favorite to win the East.
Next: 2. Atlanta Hawks