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Cleveland Cavaliers: Tough schedule could trigger slow start

The 2019-20 NBA schedule has officially been revealed. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, it may be an ugly start to the season.

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Blossoming young stars such as Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman look to build on productive seasons while three promising rookies in Darius Garland, Kevni Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler get set to begin their NBA careers.

In addition to their cast of young prospects, the Cavaliers can look forward to a healthy Kevin Love to kick off the season. Though he only played in 22 games last year, Love displayed the All-Star talent that earned him his four-year $120 million dollar contract extension.

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The Cavaliers will also watch as Larry Nance Jr. attempts to continue his development. Nance showed great improvement as a shooter and playmaker last season, proving he can become a valuable player in today’s league.

Lastly, Jordan Clarkson will continue to play in his bench role. Clarkson did a great job of racking up points with the second unit, averaging a career-high 16.8 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting.

With all of these players together, the franchise is hoping to have a successful season. A trip to the NBA Playoffs is doubtful, but at the least, they hope to win more than 19 games this year.

Sadly, it appears that the start of the 2019-10 season will be less than ideal for Cleveland. By the time they finish their 10th game, they will have played against six team’s who participated in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

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Notable opponents in the first month:

  • Indiana Pacers (2x)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (2x)
  • Miami Heat (2x)
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Boston Celtics
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Portland Trail Blazers

Highlighting their early-season struggles will be the Milwaukee Bucks. Last year, the Bucks won a league-high 60 games and fell just two games shy of reaching the NBA Finals. With the reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks won’t be holding back any punches against the Cavaliers.

Other notable teams that the Cavs will face early in the season are the Philadelphia 76ers (2x), Indiana Pacers (2x), Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat (2x). This gives the Cavaliers a severe disadvantage in eight of their first 14 games.

Early struggles could lead to longterm woes as the month of December looks like it will be the toughest one for Cleveland all season. The Cavaliers will battle 10 former playoff teams this month, including the Houston Rockets, 76ers and Bucks.

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To make matters worse, Cleveland will play eight games on the road during December, the most road trips of any single month this season.

By the time the Cavaliers reach the midway point, it may be too late to salvage their record. Throw in any unlucky injuries or speedbumps in development and this season could fall apart quickly.

Regardless, Cleveland should be looking at a more exciting year than they did previously. Garland has serious potential to become a Rising Star while Sexton, Osman, Porter and Windler will all serve their own special roles.

The franchise has a legit core to build around now. With Love as their only current All-Star, we can watch as the other players begin to hit their strides. Although the season may start slow, it should be one of growth.

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