We’re onto the semifinals teams in our “Seasons in Review” series, starting with Cavs Legion GC, who had the biggest shake-up of any of the final four squads this offseason.
Check out the latest installment of this series, where Josiah Cohen looked at the regular season champs yet first-round exits Blazer5.
Current roster: oLARRY, Sick x 973, Godddof2k
Protections: Hood, Sick x 973
Offseason transactions: Acquired the third overall pick in the expansion draft (oLARRY) from T-Wolves Gaming in exchange for Hood. Retained Godddof2k in exchange for its second-round pick.
Draft picks: 1st round (18th overall), 3rd (51st), 4th (70th)
The Good: Cavs Legion GC was the only team in the league which switched up what it was doing so many times and still remained one of the better teams. A prolonged Hood absence, the shuffling of positions, the multiple changes in strategy…and this team still somehow secured an 8-6 record and three, three, separate semifinals appearances: the TIPOFF, the TICKET and the playoffs. You’ll often see us here at DIMER pound the drums of identity and integrity, yet the Cavs were the exception to the rule.
It helps that there was plenty of talent on the roster. Anthony Muraco drafted well, and I imagine he was slamming his fingers into the phone to call in the Hood pick at 16th overall. Well worth it for a guy who ended up on SportsCenter for scoring more than anyone thought would happen over a four-game stretch at the TIPOFF. Second-round pick Sick x 973 proved to be both dominant and versatile. In fact, the roster was deep top-to-bottom, and the Cavs were able to pretty seamlessly integrate guys into different positions. There’s a reason this team made so many deep runs in do-or-die situations.
The Bad: Always the bridesmaids, never the brides. Or something like that. A lot of teams would kill to have the success that Cavs Legion had in year one, and I won’t sit here and try to tell you they had a bad season. But it has to sting a little to get so close so many times and to come up empty-handed at the end of the season (besides the extra cash, of course). It’s like a diet version of the 1990’s Buffalo Bills, and it’s up to the individual in how they interpret that. Is it an accomplishment in itself to make it that far so many times? Or is it all for nothing if you can’t win anything? As a long-suffering D.C. sports fan, I can tell you it may be more complicated than it seems. Either way, the Cavs will be eager to finally taste a trophy of some sort in season two.
The Good: The team traded Hood. Wait, that’s a good thing? Kinda. It turns out Hood and his former Cavs teammates may not have been too fond of each other. Sick and Godddof2k have both made various comments or even gotten into direct exchanges with Hood on Twitter that made it clear they aren’t on good terms. Hood follows everyone on Twitter from the season one Cavs Legion team except Sick and Godddof2k. Awkward.
But that means the team’s most imminent off-the-court issues have been resolved, and there’s a chance for a fresh start. Plus, despite the loss of Hood, the team still has plenty of talent at its disposal after flipping Hood for former Bucks big man oLARRY. A good selection at 18 (and Muraco has proven he knows how to draft) and this team is more than dangerous again even after losing the face of its franchise.
The Bad: The team traded Hood. Yeah, there were locker room things going on, but that’s still not great. Hood could very well be the best pure scorer in all of 2K, and not finding a way to make things work with him isn’t ideal for the Cavs. Losing the face of your franchise comes with a lot of questions about how the team will fill that gap and the direction the team is going. As I mentioned, it looks like the Cavs landed on their feet. But we don’t know for sure, do we?
That’s mostly it when it comes to the bad, but it’s a pretty big one. Another slight issue could be that even though the team has three good players, none of them are guards. That leaves some questions of its own, mostly in that it can be hard to tell exactly what team you want to be without knowing who will run your offense. The Cavs players are talented and versatile, but are they so talented and versatile that if the Cavs can’t get a point guard at 18 they can make up for it?
One Big Question
Will the Cavs do enough to replace Hood?
No matter how you slice it, almost 30 points per game is tough to replace. The 29.2 ppg Hood put up throughout all competitions was 43 percent of the Cavs’ offense. Are you telling me you wouldn’t have a couple sleepless nights after losing 43 percent of your scoring?
Now, scoring isn’t everything and context of course needs to be applied here. But Hood is an undeniably great player and has the ability to change the outcome of a game single-handedly. You can’t move on from a guy like that without making a lot of changes, which is why when I say “replace,” I don’t just mean with players. You can’t use the system with Hood that got the Cavs to three semifinals. It has to be thrown out the window.
Fortunately, the team has had to deal with this before, as Hood missed a good chunk of games in season one. But even then, you’ll have four new players, including half of your team newly drafted right before the season starts. The Cavs certainly aren’t doomed, but with so much roster turnover it’s fair to wonder if the team will be fully prepared to handle losing such an important player.