Playoffs: Which Cleveland team will get there first?

Cleveland Sports are not very attractive right now.  The Cavs are currently the worst team in the NBA, the Browns are once again going through a coaching change and the Indians seem to always be rebuilding.  So which one of these teams has the best chance to make the playoffs?  I figured I would weigh the pros and cons of each team to come up with a definitive answer…but we all know that’s pretty tough to do with Cleveland sports.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald "G Force" Wallace

The Cleveland Cavaliers

Pros:

  • They have some young pieces to work with in the future.  J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson and Christian Eyenga seem to have a bright future ahead of them if they stay healthy. 
  • The huge trade exception that we got from Lebron’s departure.  This trade exception can help us in acquiring a big time player via trade.  Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace has been rumored to be on our radar because of that trade exception. 

Cons:

  • They are the worst team in the NBA right now.  Normally it takes a couple of years for a team this bad to dig themselves out of this kind of hole.  It took three years for the Cavs to make the playoffs after drafting Lebron.
  • The Eastern Conference is getting stronger.  The Knicks just picked up Carmelo Anthony in a blockbuster deal and the Nets just traded for Deron Williams.  Not to mention the already strong Boston, Miami, Orlando and Chicago.  That leaves only two spots open for the playoffs.

The Cleveland Browns

Pros:

  • The Browns also have good young talent in Colt Mccoy, Joe Haden, T.J. Ward and Peyton Hillis.  Plus they have the 6th overall pick in this years draft which will hopefully give us more young talent.

    From left to right Mike Holmgren, Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert

  • The front office seems to finally be in line after the hiring of Pat Shurmur.  President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert will hopefully keep this team on the right track.

Cons

  • Pat Shurmur may give us balance in the front office but he is a first time head coach.  He is unproven and we don’t know what we have with him.  
  • With a new coaching staff comes the long process of learning a new system, which could set this team back a year or two.
  • The AFC north is arguably the toughest division in the NFL.  Pittsburgh made a trip to the Super Bowl this year and Baltimore is consistently making playoff runs.  In order to make the playoffs we have to get past these teams first.

The Cleveland Indians

Indians catcher Carlos Santana

Pros:

  • The Indians have a solid young core of players.  Catcher Carlos Santana has a world of potential and Grady Sizemore has the potential to be one of the best players in the Central division if healthy.
  • The signing of utility man Orlando Cabrera was under the radar but a good move.  He seems to find himself on good teams every year so hopefully he did the same this year.

Cons:

  • Injuries have diminished the production of key players.  Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore are far from consistent due to injuries and they need to stay healthy in order for this team to move forward.
  • Starting pitching.  Fausto Carmona has yet to live up to expectations and no one else has stepped up.  We have a young group of pitchers and someone needs to step up and take the reins.

 The Cleveland Indians have the best chance to make the playoffs first because every year it seems like a team sneaks under the radar and makes the playoffs.  A prime example of this is last years World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.  The Cavs and Browns road to the playoffs is too tough right now and will take a number of years to breakthrough.  In a perfect world all of these teams would be playoff bound this year but then again it’s not a perfect world and its Cleveland we are talking about.

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