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A Tale of Two Teams: 2013-2014 Heat vs 2014-2015 Cavs

This past off-season LeBron James had a major decision to make in his life. The world’s best basketball player was once again facing free agency, and every fan was as curious as ever to see what team King James would choose this time around. Should he resign with the Miami Heat or return to his hometown of Cleveland and play for the Cavaliers? Fortunately for all of Ohio he made the best decision he could have made and signed with the Cavs. However, what swayed him towards the Cavaliers? For what reason did he not resign with the Heat and attempt to win a third championship?

King James had a lot of things to think about when choosing which team to play for. For example, what city he’d rather live in, and what team would he have the most success on? He’d clearly rather live in Cleveland since that’s where his family is from, so the only thing left to do was to determine what team he would have more success on. In order to make the right decision, the King had to think about it in terms of which team would be a better team. On paper, how would they match up? Now that LeBron is back with the Cavs, it is still interesting to think about who is the better team, the 2014 Cavaliers or the 2013 Miami Heat.
Although the matchup is entirely impossible to actually occur, it is a very interesting topic. Who would be on the winning side of the matchup, the Cavs of this year or the Heat of last? To begin thinking about who would take the game, we should take a gander at both starting lineups and see which is stronger and has an overall more talented starting five.

The Heat’s starting lineup for a majority of the 2013-2014 season went as followed; Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and finally at center was Chris Anderson. This team was talented enough to finish with a record of 54-28 during the regular season, and a record of 12-3 in the playoffs before eventually losing to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in the finals. The heat had a good season, but not one for the record books. Although we may not know what the future holds for the Cavaliers, we can predict what their starting lineup will look like on opening day of the 2014-2015 season. As of now(without Kevin Love), the Cavs starting roster will more than likely be Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao. To decide which group would make a better team we will take a look at who would win at each position.

We’ll start with the front court, comparing Kyrie Irving to Dwyane Wade. Who is the better all-around player? Last year Kyrie Irving finished the season with just under 21 points a game and 6 assists per game. D Wade on the other hand finished with 19 points and 5 assists as an average for the season. Combine the difference in stats to the fact that Kyrie is quicker as well as younger, and it is clear that Kyrie is definitely a better option than Wade is.

{adinserter 2} Next we’ll take a look at how Mario Chalmers would match up against Andrew Wiggins. Since Wiggins is a rookie and has no NBA stats yet, we really can’t compare them as far as numbers. For the Heat, Chalmers was typically a player dedicated to assisting the Big three in LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Most of Chalmers shots came from beyond the three point arc and he was able to put up some decent numbers when called upon. For the Cavs, Andrew Wiggins played for Kansas where he certainly excelled. With a wingspan of seven foot and a great amount of athleticism Wiggins would be a very tough match up for Chalmers who stands at only 6’2. That covers the entirety of the front court besides LeBron but since he’d be on both teams neither team has the upper hand there. It appears that the Cavs definitely have a stronger front court. However, that’s only part of the game. To really determine who has the stronger line up we have to take a look at the back court.

The first matchup we have in back court would be Tristian Thompson and Chris Bosh. Thompson, the third year player who played college ball for Texas, is relatively shorter for a power forward, however his play definitely makes up for his height. Overall during the season he averaged just less than 12 points a game and racked up nearly 10 rebounds a game. His strength and willingness to fight for the ball made him a great ball player. For the Heat, Chris Bosh was just as great of a player if not better. Bosh a much more experienced player than Tristian Thompson has been in the league for eleven years now and has been to a numerous amount of all-star games. Before his years in Miami he was a star player on the Toronto Raptors. Last season, Bosh averaged just over 16 points a game which far outscored Thompson, however his rebounds don’t stack up to Tristian Thompson’s as Bosh only had an average of just over six when it came to putting up boards. Bosh was more of an offensive asset; however Thompson was a much better defensive player. On last year’s Heat team, whenever LeBron was not on the court, Bosh was the go to guy and did most of the scoring. He was a huge asset to the team and helped them immensely during their playoff run. Due to this reason, Bosh would take the matchup as in this point of both his and Tristian Thompson’s careers; he provides more to a team.

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