There is a fervor surrounding the start of the Cavaliers season. The only thing higher than the expecations for the team are the number of celebrities expected to be in Cleveland for tonight's opening game
Nationally, many are predicting the team to win its first NBA title in franchise history. For instance, check out how ESPN's team of 28 NBA writers picked their NBA champion:
ESPN's NBA champions picks | Create Infographics
Twenty-one of those writers also picked the Cavs to win the Central Division. The other seven selected the Chicago Bulls.
Only one of four CBS Sports experts picked the Cavs to win the NBA title. The other three picked the Los Angeles Clippers.
Power rankings roundup
Here is how the Cavs stack up nationally in power rankings:
Sports Illustrated: 2
Yahoo! Sports: 3
SB Nation: 4
Bleacher Report: 3
Pro Basketball Talk/NBC Sports: 2
USA Today: 3
Sporting News: 3
Fox Sports: 3
SI goes one step beyond just power rankings with the NBA entertainment rankings, where the Cavs land at No. 1. From writer Ben Golliver:
"The “Wine & Gold” will be the gold standard for fun, intrigue and drama. The union of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving promises highlights and wins galore."
Conversely, Grantland has NBA court power rankings. Zach Lowe has the Cavs last in the league.
New LeBron shoe
There's so much excitement about the start of the season that Nike released the LeBron 12 "HRT of a Lion" shoes today.
The @nikebasketball LeBron 12 'HRT of a Lion' Men's: http://t.co/y0aqoyoZil GS: http://t.co/wgWiJXRTLD pic.twitter.com/ATEmDAumrS
— Nike.com (@nikestore) October 30, 2014
Actually, the shoes were scheduled for release earlier this month, but were delayed because of a cosmetic issue.
FiveThirtyEight.com has one of the more unique season previews online. The site, helmed by former New York Times staffer Nate Silver, ran 10,000 simulations to determine record and probability of winning the NBA title.
The site predicts the Cavs will have a 56-26 record, tied for the best in the leauge with the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs, however, have the highest probability of winning the title at 26.1 percent.
Waiters a reason to watch
Sports Illustrated put together a list of 70 reasons to watch the NBA this year. It has things you would expect – LeBron coming back to Cleveland, Kyrie Irving playing with other stars, how David Blatt will rework the defense and more. No. 36 stands out:
Waiters, a ball-controlling shooting guard, has been polarizing locally the last two seasons. He already proclaimed earlier this month that the Cavs have the best backcourt in the league.